Aloha, Elvis

I have been wanting to see Elvis's movies since reviewing the new Baz Luhrmann film last month (read the review here), and it just so happens that Amazon Prime has a few, among them 1961's Blue Hawaii, which came right smack in the middle of the King's Hollywood career. Watching it was an interesting experience, … Continue reading Aloha, Elvis

That’s Show Business

Welcome back, Miss Esther... Esther Williams was no stranger to hazards, naturally, since her movies typically involved dangerous stunts, but in the case of 1948's On An Island With You, things were just annoyingly blah. The movie was blah, the swimming scenes were blah, and spirits were blah. Still, the show must go on, and there's … Continue reading That’s Show Business

Page To Screen: The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

As pretty much everyone knows by now, next month Amazon Prime will premier its new Lord of the Rings series, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Hi, my name's Fred. What's my name? Sorry, I think the series title looks redundant. Anywhoo, the trailers have been royally dragged by Tolkien fans and rightly so, … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings

Spider Pig, Spider Pig

Ah, The Simpsons Movie. Remember the hype around this thing? It was going to be The Simpsons, only much, much bigger. Then there was the biggest (or smallest) dangling carrot of all...ahem, this is going to a very Freudian place. Moving on... My husband and I went to this movie a week after our son was born. … Continue reading Spider Pig, Spider Pig

Praising the Lord And Changing the World

I don't think there's another hymn that's as ubiquitous as "Amazing Grace." Everyone sings it, tons of musicians have covered it (here's one), and pretty much no one has a problem with it, whether they're Christian or not. What people might not know, though, is that the song was once the anthem of the abolition … Continue reading Praising the Lord And Changing the World

Adventures With Tuco

Saddle up yer horses... I knew it was just a matter of time before I crossed paths with Mr. No Name again, and here we are with 1967's The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. There are more faces and more bounty hunting, but this time there's a Civil War angle to cap things off. No … Continue reading Adventures With Tuco

Shamedown #7: Sky Racket

July is upon us, although obviously not for much longer, and we have quite the Shamedown ahead. If anyone is coming in late and would like to know what the heck a Shamedown is, the lowdown can be found here. Onward... I seem to have struck gold on the Poverty Row movies this year, and … Continue reading Shamedown #7: Sky Racket

During World War Two: You’re In the Armed Forces Now

Between 1941 and 1942 America's military went from approximately 1.8 million to almost four million, and by the end of the war around twelve million Americans were in the Armed Forces. The popular myth about the United States in the period immediately following Pearl Harbor is that recruitment offices were jammed with volunteers, but according … Continue reading During World War Two: You’re In the Armed Forces Now

Getting There Is Half the Fun

We all know travel can be a big ol' crapshoot. Just two weeks ago my parents and son and I took a whirlwind two-day trip to Carson City and Virginia City, which was really great, by the way (see some of the photos here), and we decided to come back via Reno and I-80. While … Continue reading Getting There Is Half the Fun

Happy Again and Again: The Filmography of “Singin’ In the Rain”

The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love... Who can forget Singin' In the Rain? Who can forget Gene Kelly dancing down the street singing the title song? It is magic. Pure film and pure magic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAI6hhsDNxc The 1952 movie is far from the only time the song has been featured on the … Continue reading Happy Again and Again: The Filmography of “Singin’ In the Rain”

Stage To Screen: What A Girl Wants

When I heard that 2003's What A Girl Wants was based on a play, my first thought was, "Really?" For those who haven't seen it, the movie follows Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes), who leads a rather bohemian existence with her mom, Libby (Kelly Preston) in a fifth-floor walkup in New York's Chinatown. Libby is a wedding … Continue reading Stage To Screen: What A Girl Wants

Parker. Penny Parker.

Calling all Bond girls... We all know that before Bond, and even before Wysteria Lane, Teri Hatcher was best known as Penny Parker on MacGyver. She was good-natured, a little daffy, winsome, and gorgeous to boot. She was never really a love interest for Mac and more like an adoring little sister. There's not much … Continue reading Parker. Penny Parker.

Shamedown #6: I Want You

Is it June already? Yep. For another day, anyway. If anyone is coming in late and wants to know what a Shamedown is, please click here. The Korean War is often called "the forgotten war," and to a large extent it is, although it is significant for everyone in that it was one of the … Continue reading Shamedown #6: I Want You

Sold: The 1970 MGM Auction

*Insert lion's roar here* There's no such thing as being too big to fail. MGM was always one of the biggest and most successful studios in Hollywood, but when they fell, they fell hard. Not that it was a surprise to anyone in the post-Production Code, post block-book era, seeing as MGM's fortunes had been … Continue reading Sold: The 1970 MGM Auction

We’re On Our Way To France

I'm so glad travel is basically back to normal, those stupid inflated fuel prices notwithstanding. This summer we're staying pretty close to home because the cheapest gas in my part of Placer County is currently around seven dollars a gallon, and any traveling we do will have to be creative. Among other things we'll be … Continue reading We’re On Our Way To France

During World War II: There’s A War On, You Know

And we must wipe out completely for the duration of the war the idea of business as usual. --Elliot Fulton, played by Edward Arnold, The War Against Mrs. Hadley (MGM,1942) This one sentence sums up the mission of the Office of War Information, or OWI, which was established on June 13, 1942. It's putting it mildly that … Continue reading During World War II: There’s A War On, You Know