Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Happy Birthday Sandra Bullock!

“What everyone needs is love, unconditionally.”


Picture Legend

1. Ms Sandra Bullock
2. Young
3. On the cheerleader squad in High School
4. Naughty school girl
5. 4th Grader
6. In college
7. With Mom and dad in 1998
8. Gesine Bullock-Prado
9. Al Lewis
10. In her first film, “Hangmen”
11. With Lindsay Wagner in “Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman”
12. Notorious flasher
13. making the cover in “Who Shot Patakango?”
14. In “A Fool and His Money”
15. In “Working Girl”
16. In the mini-series “Lucky Chances”
17. In “Love Potion Number 9“
18. Sandy and Tate Donovan
19. “The Vanishing”
20. Resting up in “When the Party’s Over”
21. “A Thing Called Love”
22. With Bobby Duvall in “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway”
23. “Demolition Man”
24. One of Sandy’s homes, this one in Bel Air, a neighborhood in Los Angeles where homeless people hang out
25. With Jack Warden in “While You Were Sleeping”
26. “The Net”
27. With Dennis Leary in “Two if by Sea”
28. Hot
29. With Matthew McConaughey in “A Time to Kill”
30. “In Love and War”
31. With with Jason Patric in Speed 2: Cruise Control”
32. With Gena Rowlands in “Hope Floats”
33. Hot
34. With Nicole Kidman in “Practical Magic”
35. Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks... singing
36. Miriam in “The Prince of Egypt”
37. With Ben Affleck in “Forces of Nature”
38. Sisters Gesine and Sandra
39. With Liam Neeson in “Gun Shy”
40. In “28 Days”
41. Coming out in “Miss Congeniality”
42. More “Miss Congeniality”
43. talking with Ryan Gosling in “Murder by Numbers”
44. Hanging with Ryan 
45. With Shirley Knight, Maggie Smith, and Fionnula Flanagan in “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”
46. In “Two Weeks Notice”
47. Jesse James
48. In “Crash”
49. In “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous”
50. Getting her star
51. The Hollywood Highland Center, where her star is located
52. Sandy and Keanu finally get together... somehow, in “The Lake House”
53. As Harper Lee in “Infamous”
54. In “Premonition”
55. Hot
56. In “The Proposal”     Also hot.
57. With Bradley Cooper in “All About Steve”
58. Hot at the premier of “All About Steve”
59. Hat
60. “The Blind Side”
61. Cisco Burgers
62. Michelle McGee
63. Louis Bardo Bullock
64. With Thomas Horn in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” 
65. Hot
66. With Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat”
67. Getting muddy
68. The end result
69. “Gravity”
70. Mugging with Clooney
71. Hi there!
72. Guys Choice Awards
73. Scarlet Overkill in “Minions”
74. With Billy Bob Thorton in “Our Brand Is Crisis”
75. A true star

   It’s my great pleasure and honor this morning to give a great big Joyce’s Take shout out to one of my favorite actresses and producers, “America's Sweetheart,” Ms Sandra Bullock.
   Like many of us, Sandra Annette Bullock was born at a very early age, as a teeny tiny female infant, at precisely 3:15 AM, in Arlington, Virginia (N 38.878337 W -77.100703), a suburb of Washington, D.C., the site of the federal government, and the former "murder capital" of the nation.
    As any 4th grader knows, Arlington is headquarters to many departments and agencies of the federal government of the United States, including the Department of Defense (DoD) at the Pentagon, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). It is also home to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, where the airplanes live.
   All of these federal agencies, government contractors, and service industries contribute to Arlington's stable economy.
   Arlington is also the location of national memorials and museums, including Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial, and the United States Air Force Memorial.
   It is named after Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington,  an English statesman, who lived in the 1600s.
   It’s zip code is 22201.
   It is the highest-income county in the United States by median family income, though it has the highest concentration of singles in the region. Isn’t that interesting.
   She didn’t stay there long though.
   Sandra’s dad, John W. Bullock, who is in his nineties today, was a United States Army employee and part-time voice coach. Her mom, Helga Mathilde Meyer, was an opera singer and voice teacher. Bullock's father is from Birmingham, Alabama, 737.9 miles from Arlington, and has English, Irish, German, and French ancestry, while her mom was German.
   So Sandra’s chalked full of dead Europeans.
   Through out this piece I’ll be mentioning several points that Sandra and I have in common, as I’ve found we have many things in common. For instance we both studied ballet as children. I’m sure she was a lot cuter than I was, but what can one do.
   Her maternal grandfather, Eugen Meyer, was a rocket scientist from Nuremberg, Germany, which is approximately 4,174 miles from Arlington. 
   John W. Bullock, was in charge of the Army's Military Postal Service in Europe, and stationed in Nuremberg when he met Helga, who worked as his secretary. They married in Germany and moved to Arlington, where John worked with the Army Materiel Command, before becoming a contractor for The Pentagon.
   She has a younger sister, Gesine, who would later become a lawyer and president of Sandra’s production company Fortis Films. After leaving Fortis in 2004 she became a chief and bought  a bakery in Montpelier, Vermont, 543.1 miles from Arlington. She is now an instructor at King Arthur Flour and a contributing food editor for Runner's World Magazine.
   Sandra lived in Fürth, a city located in northern Bavaria, Germany, in the administrative division of Middle Franconia, 4.3496 miles from Nuremberg, until she was twelve, where she sang in the opera's children's choir at the Staatstheater Nürnberg.
   She is fluent in German. She frequently traveled with Helga on her opera tours. As I’ve mentioned she studied ballet and vocal arts as a child, taking small parts in her mother's opera productions, making her first stage appearance in an opera when she was 5. She played a dirty gypsy in the opera "The Gypsy Baron".
   She has played the piano since she was 8.
   She is what one can describe as an actualized person, a term originally introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein to explain the compulsion to realize one's full potential. Expressing one's creativity let’s say, as Sandra was doing at such an early age, to fulfill a quest for spiritual enlightenment, pursuit of knowledge, and the desire to give back to society if one can manage it, are examples of self-actualization.
   We have this in common as well, Sandra and I.
   As a matter of fact while living in Germany, Sandra attended the humanistic Waldorf School, which utilizes Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, which is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of anthroposophy (which postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world that is accessible by direct experience through inner development). Its methodology  emphasizes the role of imagination in learning, striving to integrate entirely the intellectual, practical, and artistic development of pupils.
   I also attended a school that practiced Waldorf education. The humanistic Colfax Elementary School in North Hollywood.
   They also taught me how to read.
   Sandra grow up as a battered child. She has a scar above her left eye that she sustained by falling into a creek (I have a scar on my forehead caused by riding my bike into a fence), Gesine broke her nose with her elbow while opening a garage door when they were kids.
   After returning to the states she was bullied in school for wearing frumpy clothes bought in Germany, which goes a long way in explaining her advocacy of  nudism later on in her life.
   In any case Sandra attended and graduated from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Virginia in 1982. She was a cheerleader and gymnast, and performed in high school theater productions.
   Shirley MacLaine (who was also a cheerleader) and Warren Beatty also attended this high school, as did crawling eye exterminator Forrest Tucker, Gena Rowlands, and Pat Priest, the second Marilyn Munster from “The Munsters.”
   Another commonality. I once delivered booze with my dad to the set of “The Munsters,” on the Universal Studio lot, to Al Lewis specifically, who of course played Grandpa Munster. He was a good tipper.
   She graduated from Washington-Lee in 1982 and enrolled in East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
   I graduated high school as well... eventually.
   The reasons for Sandy (I like to call her Sandy) moving from Virginia to North Carolina, a distance of 271.7 miles (standard, not nautical) is unclear. Perhaps she was a fugitive, like Richard Kimble, running from the authorities in Arlington for flashing. Who knows? I certainly don’t.
   She left East Carolina during her senior year in the spring of 1986, only three credits short of graduating, to pursue an acting career. She moved to Manhattan, which is a good a place as any to pursue an acting career, supporting herself with a variety of jobs including bartender, cocktail waitress, regular waitress, goat herder, chimney sweep, and coat checker. She appeared in several student films while studying acting with Sanford Meisner, who was also called Sandy.
   Sandra completed her coursework later at East Carolina U.
   At the age of 22, Sandra got her first part in a feature film, playing Lisa Edwards in the epic spy thriller, “Hangmen,” which was released in 1987. Here’s a clip.
   I saw this film just the other night, and it’s a good movie. It’s got music and everything. However, the introduction of Sandy is the best thing about this... movie.
   Two years later her performance in the off-Broadway play “No Time Flat,” by Larry Ketron, got her an agent and a very important audition. The audition was for “Bionic Showdown: The Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman,” a made-for-TV movie, in which Sandy played Kate Mason, the Six Million Dollar Girl (the Office of Scientific Intelligence’s (OSI) newest bionic agent. She had been paralyzed since age six, and bionics will now allow her to walk for the first time in years. Mason's bionics are of a totally new design, which are based more on augmenting her present biological systems, unlike her predecessors' cybernetic replacements). Here’s a clip of Sandra being all bionic.
   Sandy guest starred with Bill Daily on his TV show “Starting from Scratch,” and was the female lead in the 1989 drama “Who Shot Patakango?” A coming-of-age tale set in Brooklyn during the late '50s which centered around the high school life of a group of teens that have to deal with racial tensions at their interracial vocational high school.
   That year she also starred in the comedy “A Fool and His Money,” concerning an ex-adman, Morris Codman, receiving a message from God. Also a small part in the TV movie “The Preppie Murder.”
   Sandra auditioned five times before getting the role on the situation comedy “Working Girl,” which was based on the Melanie Griffith film of the same name. It  aired on NBC from April to July 1990. It debuted as a mid-season replacement, drawing low ratings and was canceled after eight of the twelve episodes produced aired. Here’s an entire episode entitled “It's Only Love.”
   She appeared in the TV mini-series “Lucky Chances,” that year, which was based on Jackie Collins’ novels “Chances,” and “Lucky,” and concerned the rise of Gino Santangelo in the Las Vegas gambling industry. Here’s a clip.
   A couple of years later she co-stared in “Love Potion No. 9,” about two scientists who are hopeless with the opposite sex and so invent a substance that makes them irresistible to anyone they speak to.
   Sandra plays a nerdy psychobiologist, and explains how the potion works. “When swallowed it affects the vocal cords directly so that when you speak micro-tremors encoded within your voice stimulate tiny little hairs in the inner ear of the opposite sex. The hair vibrates, sending a signal along a nerve to the brain, which in turn produces a combination of mood-altering, endogenous chemicals responsible for the biochemical process of falling in love. It makes members of the same sex hostile. It only works for four hours at a time. Love Potion No. 9 prevents love from fading, and overrides the effects of Love Potion No. 8, because of course, you don’t want two love potions going on at the same time. Oh no.”
   The potion worked so well Sandy wound up dating her co-star Tate Donovan for three years before giving him the old boot.
   "The person who needed me most was always the person I was attracted to," she told People Magazine of the split. "My priorities were him first, me second."
   The next year saw her being abducted by freaking Jeff Bridges (I never did trust this bastard) in “The Vanishing,” with Kiefer Sutherland and axe murderer Nancy Travis. Here’s the trailer.
   Sandra was working now regularly, with six films being released in 1993, including “The Vanishing.”
   She appeared with Tommy Chong’s daughter, Rae Dawn Chong, and Mozart’s lover Elizabeth Berridge In “When the Party’s Over,” with River Phoenix and Dermot Mulroney in “The Thing Called Love” (Sandra wrote and performed her own song "Heaven Knocking On My Door" in this film), with Craig Sheffer in “Fire on the Amazon,” with Robert Duvall (who taught her the Salsa dance), Albus Dumbledore, er, I mean Richard Harris,  Shirley MacLaine, and Piper Laurie in “Wrestling Ernest Hemingway,” and finally “Demolition Man,” with Denis Leary, Wesley Snipes, and Sylvester Stallone.
   Sandy replaced Lori Petty in “Demolition Man.”
   “I remember sitting down in Joel Silver's office and Joel going, ‘Do you want to do this film?’ I remember going, ‘I would like to do it, but I would love to talk about the character,’ and it was almost like I had said the biggest joke.” 
   “Demolition Man,” the true story of a police officer brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a non-violent future society, can be said to be Sandra’s break out role, or at least the role that brought her to the attention of a large audience, it being a kick ass monster action film. Here’s a clip of Sandra kicking some butt with Sly.
   Entertainment Weekly said Bullock makes "something out of a nothing role" and "even makes stilted lines like 'I find this lack of stimulus to be truly disappointing' sound natural."
   Indeed, sounding natural, being natural, is a trademark of Sandra’s. She is one of the wealthiest actresses in the business, with a personal fortune upwards of 200 million dollars (more than Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts), yet she always comes across as very personable, approachable, nice, fun person, someone you would like to have a beer with, just like George W Bush! So the money and what comes with it hasn’t gone to her head.
   Even when wealth and fame has brought her problems like when a stalker entered her home  June 8th, of 2014.
   Joshua James Corbett is facing 26 felony charges -- including stalking, residential burglary and possession of a machine gun, after he allegedly jumped the fence surrounding Sandra's estate and broke into her home through a locked sun-room door on the first floor. According to the police report, the intruder was unarmed but had love letters and magazine cutouts of Sandra on his person.
   She heard him roaming around the house, then saw him in the hallway near her bedroom. She slammed the door shut and locked it, hid in a closet while calling 911. The police came and arrested him while he was in the attic.
   The case is ongoing.
   Some people!
   If 1993's “Demolition Man” brought Sandra to the public’s attention, then 1994's “Speed,” made her a star.
   Another action film taking place mostly on a bus, the film also starred Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, and Jeff Daniels (other people were in it as well, but you probably don’t know them), the film became a surprise critical and commercial success, winning two Academy Awards, for Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing at the 67th Academy Awards in early 1995. 
   “Everyone told me to pass on “Speed” because it was a ‘bus movie.’” She didn’t listen to them.
   Hal Hinson, in his review for The Washington Post, praised Sandra’s performance: "The only performer to stand out is Sandra Bullock as Annie ... If it weren't for the smart-funny twist she gives to her lines—they're the best in the film—the air on that bus would have been stifling ... she emerges as a slightly softer version of the Linda Hamilton-Sigourney Weaver heroines: capable, independent, but still irresistibly vulnerable."
   She’s always getting reviews like that.
   Here’s a clip.
   Concerning the above clip and love scenes: “Movie sex scenes are never romantic, and you're never swept off your feet. It's always very technical. I'm counting the beats: Okay, we're supposed to kiss for two beats, then I say my line, then they want another kiss for four beats. I'm going, One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three and break. It's like choreography. Sometimes, you have actors who feel it's their job to get as far down into your throat as possible. You're like, Excuse me, I like you, but not that much.”
   Speed was released on June 10, 1994, in 2,138 theaters and debuted at the number one position, grossing $14.5 million on its opening weekend. It went on to gross $121.3 million domestically and $229.2 million internationally for a worldwide total of $350.5 million, well above its $30 million production budget I’d say, which makes it a big hit commercially, and it’s stars, especially Sandra, bankable.
   And that’s when all of that money started rolling in. She was paid $600,000 for “Speed,” in 94. By the time the sequel was produced, “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” in 1997, she was making millions. $8 million for “A Time to Kill,” in 96, $10,500,000 for “In Love and War,” the same year, and $11,000,000 for Speed 2. for “The Blind Side,” she received $20,000,000 (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $309,00,000 plus share of DVD and pay-TV revenue). On and on.
   Nothing wrong with making money, just as long as you don’t spend it all in one place.
   “I've learned that success comes in a very prickly package. Whether you choose to accept it or not is up to you. It's what you choose to do with it, the people you choose to surround yourself with. Always choose people that are better than you. Always choose people that challenge you and are smarter than you. Always be the student. Once you find yourself to be the teacher, you've lost it.”
   Sandra replaced Demi Moore in “While You Were Sleeping,” in 1995, which also starred President Bill Pullman, Peter Gallagher, Young Frankenstein’s Peter Boyle, “Mary Poppins’” Glynis Johns, and one of my very favorite character actors, Jack Warden. Here’s the trailer.
   "I think people are under some misapprehension that what she's doing on-screen is just being herself," writer-director Marc Lawrence later told Vogue. "I've always felt, because of her ability to do physical comedy, that she is the reincarnation of Lucille Ball."
   Sandy received her first Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for her work in “While You Were Sleeping.”
   Next came “The Net,” a cyber action thriller, with Jeremy Northam, and conservative ass hat, Dennis Miller (This guy is not funny. He wasn’t funny on SNL. He wasn’t funny on HBO. Why does he exist?).
   Sandy basically carried this film, and it did well, grossing $110.6 million on a production budget of 20. This furthered her reputation as a money maker.
   I’m going to watch this movie tonight, by golly!
   1996 was an important year for Sandra (not to say that any year is unimportant... 96 was especially important). She worked with Denis Leary again in the romantic comedy heist film, “Two If by Sea,” during which she discovered that she was allergic to horses.
   Her dad became her manager in 1996.
   She began producing films that year, founding Fortis Films, which has produced entities such as “The George Lopez Show,” the films “Two Weeks Notice,” Miss Congeniality 1&2, “Gun Shy,” the shorts “Trespasses,” and “Making Sandwiches.” “Hope Floats,” “Practical Magic,” and “All About Steve.”
   “Why do you need one? I don't understand why there needs to be a love interest to make women go see a film. I think society sort of makes us feel that way - that if you don't have a guy, you're worthless.”
   I don’t know what brought that on, but okay.
   Sandy wrote and directed the short film “Making Sandwiches,” the only film she has directed, so far. It was shot in Ventura, California in 1996, where one of my ex-girlfriends lives, and debuted at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival, and also played the Austin Film Festival in 1998.    Sandy stars in it, as well as Eric Roberts and Matthew McConaughey. The tag-line for the film was "Two slices...with the world of possibility between'em."
   One has to assume the film is about the production of poor boys.
   Sandy said in a Reader's Digest interview that she directed the film to "educate herself" about directing and came away concluding that while she enjoys producing and acting, she does not have the talent to "lead" a film by being a director.
   Bullshit, I say!
  After it screened at Sundance, Sandra signed a three-year production deal at Warner Bros, which proved fruitful with seven films, which she starred in, that made a total of $700 million at the box office, plus $255 million in DVDs by 2007, according to Forbes.
   96 also saw her appearing with Samuel L Jackson and McConaughey in the racial themed court room drama, “A Time to Kill,” and “In Love and War,” in which she plays reporter Ernest Hemingway’s nurse in Italy, Agnes von Kurowsky. Robin, er, I mean Chris O'Donnell played Hemingway.
   Here’s a clip from “A Time to Kill.”
   Sandy and Matthew got together romantically from when they made “A Time to Kill,” for the remainder of the 90s.
   "I just look at her and I think, Wow!" he told In Style. "But she doesn't know how beautiful she is or how much people like her. She's just so regular about everything."
   In 1998, Sandy moved near McConaughey in Austin, Texas, where she built a home and eventually opened a Cajun-inspired restaurant.
   "You never know when you'll fall in love; you don't expect it. And I fell in love with Austin," she told In Style. "I've gone there to build my home. My roots. I'm building a home there with family in mind, children and grandchildren."
   She was selected as one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1996 and 1999, and was also ranked No. 58 in Empire magazine's Top 100 movie Stars of All Time list.
   She’s always getting on lists like these.
   1997 saw her in the Speed sequel, “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” with Jason Patric and Willem Dafoe.
   She made the film in order to secure financial baking for her own project, “Hope Floats,” but has stated that she regrets making the sequel, which was a modest commercial success. 
   In 1998 she produced and starred in the  romantic drama “Hope Floats,” along with Harry Connick Jr. and Gena Rowlands.  It was directed by the future Academy Award wining actor, Forest Whitaker.
   “Hope Floats,” didn’t impress the critics (so what!), but made $81,471,882 on a $30 million
 production budget.
   Here’s a short film on the making of “Hope Floats.”
   That year she also made the romantic comedy, “Practical Magic,” with  Nicole Kidman, Stockard Channing, Dianne Wiest, Aidan Quinn, and a 11 year old Evan Rachel Wood. Based on the true story, I’m told, of the Owens Sisters, who are of course witches, and not the Wiccan kind, but rather the Samantha Stephens kind (who Nicole Kidman would portray in the 2005 film “Bewitched.” Also based on a true story), the movie didn’t do well at the box office, or critically. I believe that is due in a large part the general publics unwarranted and inherent distrust of witches in general, which as you know Republican presidential candidate Donald J (Jackass) Trump has utilized the film to inflame the nation, calling for the immediate deportation of all known and practicing witches, a wall to be built between the United States and Witchland (which the witches will pay for), and a total ban on witch immigration into the US.
   I don’t know, I’ll take another look at this movie soon and reevaluate it for myself.
   Here’s a clip featuring one of my favorite singers and songwriters, performing one of my favorite songs, Harry Nilsson.
   “Practical magic” also resulted in a collaboration of the lovely and talented Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow performing the song “If You Ever Did Believe,” which was used in the movie, and a video, in which Sandy and Nicole appear (within scenes of the movie). Don’t believe me! It’s right here!
   Sandy supplied the voice for Miriam in “The Prince of Egypt,” an animated epic musical drama biblical film and the first traditionally animated film produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures, also starring Val Kilmer (As Moses and God), Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, and Miguel Witznitski. An all star cast indeed. Here’s a clip.
   1999 saw Sandy fulfilling her obligatory romantic comedy with Ben Affleck in “Forces of Nature,” with Steve Zahn and Gwyneth’s mom, Blythe Danner. Here’s the trailer.  
   We’ll get to the obligatory Hugh Grant film soon enough.
   On April 3rd, 1999, Sandy’s sister, Gesine, was married, at Sandra's Texas ranch, to storyboard artist Raymond Prado. Congratulations! From that point on her name became Gesine Bullock-Prado.
   Four movies with Sandra were released in 2000. “Gun Shy,” which she also produced, and which I saw for the first time just the other night, and which also starred Liam Neeson, Mary McCormack, and Oliver Platt as an overzealous hitman. The film, unfortunately, was a bomb financially, making only $3,221,280 on a $14 million budget. Most critics didn’t like that much either.
   I liked it. I’m going to watch it again right now. Please excuse me...
   Okay back now.
   Here’s the trailer.
   On April 14th “28 Days,” was released, which concerned a newspaper columnist being forced to enter a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center due to her use of mind altering substances. The film also starred Aragorn, er, I mean Viggo Mortensen, Elizabeth Perkins, Diane Ladd, and Steve Buscemi.
   Sandy spent some time at a Rehabilitation Clinic to research the role.
   Another thing we have in common. I too, have spent some time in a Rehabilitation Clinic... to do research.
   “28 Days,” made a little money, and critics liked it a little. Here’s a clip.
   Sandra appeared as herself in a cameo appearance in “Lisa Picard Is Famous,” starring Laura Kirk in this comedy-drama about a documentary maker who has focused on Kirk’s character as she is on the verge of show business stardom.
   “The first ‘Miss Congeniality’ gave me the chance to do broad comedy that had nothing to do with being the romantic interest. The girl-next-door thing went away with that film and I tend to do characters that I want to be more like. In the beginning, though, I was sort of the ‘action girl’. And then with ‘While You Were Sleeping,’ I was the romantic-comedy girl. But when I took time off, I thought, ‘There's something I'm missing here.’ I literally had to start from scratch.”
   In 2000, Sandy starred in “Miss Congeniality,” along with Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, William Shatner, and Candice Bergen. It was a financial success that took in $212 million at the box office worldwide, with a production budget of $45 million. “Miss Congeniality” also earned her another Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Here’s one clip, and here’s another.
   I’m watching it right now, as I write this.
   It’s called multitasking.
   Fed up with her nonsense George Clooney and Tom Cruise threw Sandy into a pool at Joel Schumacher's birthday party in 2000.
   And on April 4th, 2000, Sandy’s mom, opera singer Helga Bullock, died of colon cancer in Arlington, Virginia.
   In December Sandy emerged unhurt from a potentially fatal plane crash in the snowbound resort town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She was arriving for a Christmas vacation with her musician boyfriend, Bob Schneider, when her plane, a twin engine Hawker corporate jet,  skidded off the runway.
   In October of 2001 Sandy donated the dress she wore for the “Practical Magic” premiere, to be auctioned at Charity Auction at eBay in benefit of the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.
   And that’s not all that’s she’s done for others. She has been a public supporter of the American Red Cross, having donated $1 million to the organization at least four times. Her first public donation of that amount was to the Red Cross's Liberty Disaster Relief Fund. Three years later, she sent money in response to the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis. In 2010, she donated $1 million to relief efforts in Haiti following the Haitian earthquake, and again donated the same amount following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
   2002 saw Sandra in the psychological thriller, “Murder by Numbers,” loosely based on the case of Leopold and Loeb. Sandy starred along with Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling, and Agnes Bruckner.    The film got mixed reviews and brought in only a little over production costs, which means it lost money initially due to marketing and distribution costs. Here’s a clip of Sandy and Ryan getting together.
   She quietly began dating Gosling, who tried to kill her in the movie. Women are so weird. Gosling was 16 years younger than Sandra, and still is. The two dated for more than a year, but kept their relationship very private. I found out about though, by God!
   She was presented with the 2002 Raúl Juliá Award for Excellence for her efforts, as the executive producer of the sitcom “George Lopez,” (2002-2007) in helping expand career openings for Hispanic talent in the media and entertainment industry. She also made several appearances on the show as Accident Amy, an accident-prone employee at the factory Lopez's character manages.
   2002 also saw Sandy working with Ellen Burstyn, James Garner, Maggie Smith, and our friend Ashley Judd in “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” Here’s a clip with super secret Ya Ya Subtitles.
   Sandy also fulfilled her obligations as a romantic comedy lead by making “Two Weeks Notice,” with Hugh Grant in 2002 (All of these dates I’m giving are release dates. The movies themselves were probably shot and produced the year before). The lovely and talented Alicia Witt also starred. here’s a clip.
   Why is it obligatory? Because that’s what Hugh Grant does! Work in romantic comedies with actresses like Andie MacDowell, Tara Fitzgerald, Judy Davis, Julianne Moore, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Julia Roberts, Renée Zellweger, Victoria Smurfit, Rachel Weisz, Martine McCutcheon, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Marisa Tomei. 
   Hugh’s the king of male romantic comedy leads, with Ben Affleck coming in second when he’s not making superficial films like “Argo.”
   Sandy said “Two Weeks Notice,” will be her last romantic comedy.
   "I had the ultimate romantic partner in Hugh Grant [see]. So I've done that nice chapter in my life, and that chapter is closed...I'd rather go watch one than be in one because I wouldn't buy it if I was doing it now," she told Vogue.
   In 2003, while touring the set of the vehicle-makeover show “Monster Garage” with her godson, Sandy met bad boy, tattooed, motorcycle tycoon Jesse James. They soon began dating and became secretly engaged the following year.
   2004 brought Sandy together with an ensemble cast in the acclaimed “Crash,” which won an Academy Award for Best Picture. The film concerns racial and social tensions over a thirty-six hour period in Los Angeles, California.
   Hey! That’s where I live!
   Other cast members included Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, Jennifer Esposito, Brendan Fraser, Terrence Howard, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Marina Sirtis, Thandie Newton, Michael Peña, and Ryan Phillippe. Here’s a clip.
   Some say Sandy did some of her finest work in “Crash,” more so even than in the “The Blind Side,” wherein she won an Academy Award for Best Actress.
   I can’t disagree. At least her work in this film displays the awesome range she has in working in any and all genres.
   On March 24th, 2005 “Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous,” was released. The next day Sandy was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. That means she finally got her own star right near the intersection of Hollywood and Highland, at the Hollywood and Highland Center.
   The same year, she was a co-recipient of the Women in Film Crystal Award.
   On July 16th, 2005 Sandy married Jesse James in a sunset ceremony on a ranch outside Santa Barbara, California. They celebrated with several hundred guests including Jamie Lee Curtis, Hugh Grant, Keanu Reeves, William Shatner, Regina King and some members of the Hell's Angels, which is rather unusual usually.
   "I always thought of marriage as a death sentence," Bullock told Vanity Fair, "that there'd be a ball and chain, and you'd be told, 'You need to stop doing these things and become a good little wife'."
   She became stepmother to Jesse’s three kids.
    "My love and my want for their future and their happiness, for their homework to be done and for them to know how smart and beautiful they are is no less than if I'd had a child on my own," she told People.
   In 2006 she was reunited with “Speed” co-star Keanu Reeves in “The Lake House,” a romantic drama as opposed to a romantic comedy.
   The film centers on an architect (Keanu) living in 2004 and a doctor (Sandy) living in 2006. The two meet via letters left in a mailbox at the lake house they have both lived in at separate points in time. They carry on correspondence over two years, remaining separated by their original difference of two years. For Alex the time goes from 2004 to 2006. For Kate the time goes from 2006 to 2008. It’s all rather confusing, and I don’t wish to discuss it anymore, so here’s a clip, and an interview with both actors.
   She also played Harper Lee, one of my favorite writers, and the author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in the film “Infamous,” which opened in October of 2006. 
   "It's a very scary undertaking," Sandy told Vogue, of playing Harper. "I'm sort of in a new phase in life where I don't want to do anything that doesn't petrify me, even if it's not well received. It's good to do things that scare the shit out of you...It's not the lead, but it helps tell Truman's story and it's scary. But this chapter's all about scary stuff."
   The film was actually about the writer Truman Capote when he was doing research for his book “In Cold Blood,’ with Toby Jones playing Capote, and future Bond actor Daniel Craig, playing the mass killer, Perry Smith.  
   The film was well received critically, but bombed at the box office, possibly due to the publics being Capoted out, with Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the writer, and winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, in “Capote,” the year before.
   Who knows?! I certainly don’t.
   Sandy played Capote’s best friend. Here’s a clip.  
   Sandy starred along with Laurel Whitsett in 2007's supernatural thriller “Premonition.” The film got rotten reviews, but made a lot of money, costing $20 million to make, and raking in $84.1 million worldwide.
   I’d take that kind of profit any day.
   As far as accidents go, Sandy’s very lucky. She and Jesse were unhurt after a head-on crash with a drunken driver in Massachusetts on April 18th, 2008. Both vehicles were totaled but no one was hurt.
   How does that happen?
   Angels my friends... angels.
   2009 saw her with Ryan Reynolds in “The Proposal,” which is a... what the hell... a full blown, freaking, romantic comedy! Oh well, as I know full well once addicted these things are hard to quit.
   She and Reynolds stripped down for a simi-nude scene, her first.
   "You know why I looked hot? Because everyone was looking at Ryan."
   The film was a box office success, grossing over $317 million worldwide, becoming the highest grossing romantic comedy film of 2009.
   That’s why she came back to the genre. Here’s the trailer. And here’s an interesting interview.
   She released two other movies that year. “All About Steve,” and “The Blind Side.”
   “All About Steve,” is listed on Wikipedia as a simple comedy, but I’ve seen the movie and in it she pursues Steve throughout the film, and they get together at the end, so how can this not be a romantic comedy?
   Please tell me.
   The film stars Sandra of course, Bradley Cooper, that madman Thomas Haden Church, Howard Hesseman, Ken Jeong, and a whole bunch of other people.
   The film received negative reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film, in ascending order, 96th in the 100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s, with a rating of 7% based on 135 reviews and the sites consensus states: "All About Steve” is an oddly creepy, sour film, featuring a heroine so desperate and peculiar that audiences may be more likely to pity than root for her.”
   To be perfectly honest I don’t know what the fuck the critic above and others are talking about. I loved “All About Steve.” I love Sandra in it. I loved everything about her quirky character. I loved that she was very smart, manic, and extremely... dedicated. I even like that silly hat she wore for a little while. I’ve acted before (another commonality). Don’t these critics know how hard it is to portray a character like Mary Magdalene Horowitz and pull it off. I can’t think of another actress who could do it. I certainly couldn’t, and I’m good!
   I’d turn off “Miss Congeniality” right now and watch “All About Steve” instead if I had a copy. These critics are morons.
    She won a Razzie Award for her performance, so the movie and her work in it couldn’t be that bad! Screw those critics. The Razzie people even gave her $4.97 for their appreciation of her work in the movie, which she accepted in person.
   The next day she won an Oscar... for another movie, but still, an Oscar.
   By starring in “The Blind Side,” she became the only actress to date to have a film marketed with her name solely above the title (based on her star power alone, and not a franchise or tentpoll picture (widely released initial offering in a string of releases and are expected by studios to turn a profit in a short period of time.)) pass the $200 million mark in domestic gross.
   It made 309.2 million worldwide, on a budget of $29 million, that makes “The Blind Side,” a big hit.
   Sandy had initially turned down the role of Leigh Anne Tuohy three times due to a discomfort with portraying a devout Christian, which we have in common as well.
   She was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actress on  March 7th, 2010, making her the 136th actress to receive an Academy Award. She also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama, a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress. “The Blind Side” also received an Academy Award for Best Picture nomination.
   Sandy is one of 17 actors to win the Academy Award for playing a real-life person who was still alive on the evening of the award ceremony for playing Leigh Anne Tuohy in “The Blind Side.”  The other sixteen actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in “Boys Town” (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in “Sergeant York” (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker” (1962), Jason Robards for playing Ben Bradlee in “All the President's Men” (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in “Raging Bull” (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner's Daughter” (1980), Jeremy Irons for playing Claus Von Bullow in “Reversal of Fortune” (1990), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in “Dead Man Walking” (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in “Shine” (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in “Erin Brockovich” (2000), Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in “Iris” (2001), Helen Mirren for playing Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen” (2006), Christian Bale for playing Dickie Eklund in “The Fighter” (2010) Melissa Leo for playing Alice Eklund-Ward in “The Fighter” (2010), Meryl Streep for playing Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady” (2011) and Eddie Redmayne for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” (2014).
   Sandra was co-owner, with Jesse,  of "Cisco Burgers" in Long Beach, California. It’s closed now, probably due to her separating from Jesse on March 15th, 2010, following the revelation of his 11-month affair with tattoo model Michelle McGee.
   What an freaking idiot!
   She filed for divorce from James in April 2010.
   The divorce was finalized on June 28th, 2010, with "conflict of personalities" cited as the reason.
   In April 2010, Sandy revealed in People magazine  that she started to adopt a one-week-old baby boy, named Louis Bardo Bullock, from New Orleans in January. She initially began adoption proceedings with Jesse before they split in April, and went on to adopt Louis as a single parent after they divorced. 
   People magazine named Sandy person of the year for 2010.
   She returned to work twelve months after adopting Louis in order to begin filming “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” 
   Of which concerns a nine-year-old amateur inventor, and pacifist searching New York City for the lock that matches a mysterious key left behind by his father, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001.
   Well that sounds simple enough.
   Tom Hanks is in the film, as well as Thomas Horn and the exorcist himself, Max von Sydow. Here’s some scenes from the film with Sandy commenting.
   “The story is about honoring people's grief, while giving them permission to have it. And I loved that it showed generations in pain, and how they healed each other by listening and talking.”
   In 2012, Sandra was inducted into the Warren Easton Hall of Fame, for her donations to charities, and in 2013 was honored with the Favorite Humanitarian Award at the 2013 People's Choice Awards for her contributions to New Orleans' Warren Easton Charter High School, which was severely damaged by 2005's Hurricane Katrina.
   In 2013, Sandra starred in the comedy “The Heat,” alongside Melissa McCarthy. It received good reviews from critics, and took in $230 million at the box office worldwide on a $43 million budget.
   The movie is very funny and both actresses shine throughout.
   "I've always wanted to do a female buddy film, the kind the guys get to do," Sandy told Parade."This didn't have anything to do with getting a guy, and it didn't involve shoe shopping."
   Here’s some scenes as well as an interview with Melissa and Sandy.
   On September 25th, 2013, Sandra received the honor of having her hand and footprints immortalised on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, about a half block away from where her star resides.
   “I actually never thought about being alone on screen for such a long time until I started doing press, and everyone asked me if that made me nervous, and then I started panicking. I was mostly concerned about the Vomit Comet. I was literally acting off of nothing for up to 10 hours a day, with headphones my only connection to Alfonso [Cuarón, director]. We made a catalog of music clips - whale sounds, Radiohead, weird screeching of metal - and I memorized them. I would say, ‘Okay, give me No. 4. That's not working. Try No. 2. That's better, that's getting me to the emotion I need.’”
   She’s talking about the production of “Gravity,” the outer space epic that was released October 4th, 2013 to coincide with the beginning of World Space Week. Let’s take a look at all the fun she had.
   And she almost didn’t make the movie. Here’s why.
   “Gravity” received universal acclaim among critics and a standing ovation at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, where the film premiered.
   “Gravity” was called "the most realistic and beautifully choreographed film ever set in space." Sandy’s performance was praised, with some critics calling “Gravity” the best work of her career. Variety wrote, "Bullock inhabits the role with grave dignity and hints at Stone's past scars with sensitivity and tact, and she holds the screen effortlessly once Gravity becomes a veritable one-woman show... the actress remains fully present emotionally, projecting a very appealing combo of vulnerability, intelligence and determination that not only wins us over immediately, but sustains attention all the way through the cathartic closing reels."
   Gravity took in $716 million at the box office worldwide, making it Sandra's second most successful picture. For her role as Dr. Ryan Stone, she was nominated for a Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress.
   Here’s part of what all of the hoopla was about.
   An observation. You may have noticed by now that Sandra is a film actress. She makes movies. None of that boring stage crap as far as I can discern, when you have to work day after day and twice on the weekend. Jesus H Christ and his mother Alice, now that’s work!
   Okay, back to Sandy.
   Sandra Bullock seems to have it all: Beauty, brains and, according to the Guys Choice Awards in June 2014, a decade's worth of hotness. Matthew McConaughey, Keanu Reeves and Hugh Grant presented her with the prize in Culver City, California.
    "It really should be Decade of Hot Mess," she joked while accepting.
   By August 2014, Sandy was the highest earning actress in the business. By 2015, her films had grossed over $5.3 billion worldwide, which makes her 14th most profitable movie star. According to The Numbers, her total domestic gross stands at over $2.5 billion, placing her among the Top 100 Stars at the Box Office
   In 2015, she voiced the character of Scarlet Overkill in the animated film “Minions,” which became her highest-grossing film to date, with over $1.1 billion worldwide. That same year, Sandy also starred in the comedy-drama film “Our Brand Is Crisis.”
   She is set to star in an all-female spin-off of the Ocean's Eleven franchise.
   What do you think about that Clooney?! Thinking twice about throwing her in that pool now, aren’t ya!
   As of late 2015, Bullock is dating photographer Bryan Randall.
   And on December 2nd, 2015, she adopted a daughter, her name is Laila Bullock.
   Okay, we’re almost done here, as pleasant as this may be... what else?
   Here she is at an award ceremony talking about Googling herself.
   Sandra hates musicals and vows to never participate in one.
   So do I, with the exception of those made by Bob Fosse (“Cabaret” “All That Jazz”). Except for that exception, we have this in common.
   Yet she knows how to dance flamenco, salsa and tango... which is another thing we have in common, her and I.
   She has said that if she had not been an actress, she would have been a romantic novelist.
   Same here! I mean, if I weren’t doing what I’m doing now.
   Her name in Elvish is Merenwen Culnámo.
   Mine is Daeron Tulcakelumë
   Another commonality. We both have Elvish names!
   That about wraps it up. Except this: All of us here at Joyce’s Take wish you Sandra, yes you, a very happy birthday, and continued good health and fortune for you and yours!
   Happy Birthday Sandy!

“I hate taking selfies. I will not take a selfie that I can't erase. I don't post or do any of that stuff. People have these worlds they post and it's about projecting an image and getting likes. I read a great article about how there's a higher rate of depression because people are looking at everyone else's Facebook [pages] and seeing this picture-perfect life. We're not representing our lives truthfully. Like when you're yelling at your child, you're not taking a selfie of you being a horrible parent. No, you're waiting for the perfect selfie. 'Do I look thinner now?' 'Do I look great?' It's this false projection of one's life. Hollywood has now gone global. Everyone's Hollywood now.”

Throughout the Years