Shamedown #9: Telephone Operator

We're back for more shame! I'm always tempted to make "Love Potion #9" jokes when we get to this point in the year, but I'm not going to do that. If anyone is coming in late on this Shamedown business they can find the details here and past Shamedowns here. Off we go... I'm not sure … Continue reading Shamedown #9: Telephone Operator

Checkmate

Happy National Silent Film Day! There's nothing new under the sun, of course, and this year I thought I'd revisit the 1923 film, White Tiger, a Tod Browning tale of murder, mistaken identity, mayhem, and a chess-playing automaton. I couldn't make this up if I tried. The movie opens in a London suburb, where a young … Continue reading Checkmate

It’s All About the Drapes

We all know that so many Hollywood stars got their start on the stage, Broadway or otherwise, and one of the most famous is Vincente Minnelli. Among the things Minnelli did so well in his films was communicate emotion without beating an audience over the head, and one of his lesser-known films is 1955's The … Continue reading It’s All About the Drapes

If I Were A Broadway Musical

Here we go... Guys and Dolls is quite the show. I first heard the music in college when my voice teacher showed us clips from the 1992 revival starring Peter Gallagher, Faith Prince, Nathan Lane, and Josie de Guzman and liked it so much I bought the soundtrack album. However, I've never seen the 1955 movie … Continue reading If I Were A Broadway Musical

They’re Watching Us

Time to crack open those books... H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds seems to be the Michael J. Fox of sci-fi in that plenty of other sci-fi stories want to be it really, really badly, and some are more overt about it than others. John Christopher's wonderful Tripod series is definitely an homage to … Continue reading They’re Watching Us

During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part Two)

When we last left off, America had temporarily pulled out of the Philippines as the last holdouts, Bataan and Corregidor fell to the Japanese, putting thousands of American and Filipino troops and civilians in the hands of enemy forces. Those who weren't murdered were herded into camps, where they faced extremely harsh conditions, and even … Continue reading During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part Two)

Five Reasons To See “A Hard Day’s Night”

Britannia rules the waves (again)... We all know 1964 was a huge year for the Beatles. Their careers and collective fate suddenly shot to the top. They made two appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. They toured America for the first time. John wrote and published In His Own Write, which he also promoted on … Continue reading Five Reasons To See “A Hard Day’s Night”

Hep To the Jive

The teen years are awkward enough, but for Shirley Temple they must have been downright painful, because after her 1940 film, The Blue Bird flopped she was at loose ends as an actress, ending her contract with Fox and trying to figure out what to do next. She made one movie at MGM, Kathleen, which didn't grab people, and … Continue reading Hep To the Jive

Stage To Screen: The Music Man

Few Broadway shows can touch The Music Man. It's probably in the top ten of the most well-known musical comedies, or just musicals in general. It's rousing, it's funny, it's winkingly naughty, it has a lot of cool plays on words, it feels like yesteryear. Most of all, who hasn't wanted to go marching out of the … Continue reading Stage To Screen: The Music Man

Shamedown #8: Underworld Scandal

We're back with another Shamedown, people, and the titles just keep getting more generic (Heh. Just wait until next month.). If anyone is coming in late and is therefore fuzzy on what a Shamedown is, the details can be found here. Juvenile delinquency rose hugely all over the world both during and after the Second … Continue reading Shamedown #8: Underworld Scandal

Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

Nice to see Mr. Johnson again... I'm starting to see a pattern in my reviews lately, kind of, and that is American actors starring in foreign-to-them films. We all know how this goes. They speak English while everyone around them utters their lines in their native languages, which only get dubbed into English in post-production. … Continue reading Chomp, Chomp, Chomp

During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part One)

The war in the Pacific and the events leading up to it are very seldom taught, if ever, in schools today. In my case, and it's probably the same for a lot of film buffs and history lovers, movies made about that part of World War Two sparked interest in learning more. It's a complicated … Continue reading During World War Two: The Pacific Theater (Part One)

Wax On, Wax Off

The 1984 Karate Kid is one of my absolute favorite back-to-school movies, well, it and the Harry Potter series. Every year we watch these at my house sometime around the first weeks of the new school year. While Kid is a classic anyway, anyone who lived through the nineteen eighties will remember how much Gen-Xers would quote … Continue reading Wax On, Wax Off

Move Over, Chucky

OK, so I know I said that the planet Venus will always be an unknown quantity, but Venus has got nothing on the Bermuda Triangle because we can at least partially explain Venus. The Bermuda Triangle, not so much. Not everyone believes the Bermuda Triangle is worse than any other part of the ocean; in … Continue reading Move Over, Chucky

The Yanks Are Coming, The Yanks Are Coming

Are American tourists really as pesky as they're made out to be? I've only been to Canada, so I can't really comment based on firsthand experience, but obviously the stereotype exists. I do however, have a couple of decades of experiences with tourists in general, and while most people are cool, I have encountered a … Continue reading The Yanks Are Coming, The Yanks Are Coming

See You On Venus

Venus is an intriguing planet because its nature guarantees it will never be anything but an unknown quantity. We've tried to land on it, but it's too windy and the probes that have managed to land were melted in very short order by the extreme heat, but not before they sent back a few pictures. … Continue reading See You On Venus

Love Is In the Air

Back on the beach, only we're with Frankie and Annette in 1965's Beach Blanket Bingo. Can't have a Sorta Adios To Summer without at least one Frankie and Annette film, so here we go... The group is hanging out on the beach, of course, when new singer Sugar Kane (Linda Evans) parachutes into the water. Well, not … Continue reading Love Is In the Air