Hello, Portici, Hello

I've got a mystery on my hands. Literally. Last Tuesday I got a package from Amazon in the mail, and when I opened it, found a Blu-ray of The Dumb Girl From Portici, along with a note on the receipt that read, "Dear Rebecca: Thanks a million." That's it. No signature. Cue the profound mystification. My face … Continue reading Hello, Portici, Hello

Mutants Among Us

Earl Grey. Hot. Oh, wait. 😉 One of my favorite of Patrick Stewart's non-Star Trek roles is that of Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, a paen to the marginalized and disenfranchised among us. It's hard to believe the first movie is twenty years old this year. And that it's from a time when the bulk of … Continue reading Mutants Among Us

My Favorite American Short Stories

Which short stories do you like? It's nice to be able to easily dive in and out of a story and still feel like something's getting done. Naturally, English majors have to read a lot of these kinds of stories, which is fun most of the time, but can also be a pain in the neck … Continue reading My Favorite American Short Stories

Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

This is the Army, Mister Jones. No private rooms or telephones. You had your breakfast in bed before, but you won't have it there anymore. (Irving Berlin, "This Is the Army," 1942.) Happy New Year! Welcome to the wild and wacky world of the Irving Berlin Wartime Musical. Nothing like starting off 2020 with a mix … Continue reading Stage To Screen: This Is the Army

Origins: The Rise of Skywalker

Ugh, I hesitate to even write about the newest Star Wars movie, but here I am, and I'm feeling a little annoyed. Disney and Lucasfilm haven't exactly ingratiated themselves to the fans since The Last Jedi, and I'm not at all happy that Disney bought Twentieth-Century Fox, because Disney's dogged committment to artificial scarcity stinks. They might be … Continue reading Origins: The Rise of Skywalker

Shamedown #11: Bright Star

We've made it, friends--the last Shamedown of 2019. Can you believe it? I sure can't. Anyone who's wondering what the heck I'm talking about can find answers at Cinema Shame. Past 2019 Shamedowns can be found here. John Keats is part of every English major's academic diet in one way or another. Born in 1795 … Continue reading Shamedown #11: Bright Star

Reading Rarities: 1909 Sears Catalogue

Remember Sears' Wish Book? Us kids used to look forward to that thing all year long and when the Christmas season came around we would pore over it meticulously, looking with big eyes at the pages and pages of toys. There might have been some linens, or clothes, or electronics. or other grownup stuff in … Continue reading Reading Rarities: 1909 Sears Catalogue

Entertaining Angels

When it comes to remakes, my longtime readers know I'm pretty ambivalent with a variable degree of distaste. Every once in a while, though, a remake will nail it, or turn out even be better than the original. One of the good ones is The Preacher's Wife, the 1997 remake of The Bishop's Wife. Directed by Penny … Continue reading Entertaining Angels

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Netflix

Ah, Netflix, where the motto has become, "Let there be original content. Oodles and oodles of original content." Every genre is fair game, every level of production is worthy, every potential heartstrings-tugging saga might mean more views. Basically anyone with a camera, a little bit of production experience, and the right connections can get greenlighted … Continue reading It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Netflix

Wakey, Wakey

One of my all-time favorite holiday movies is 1995's While You Were Sleeping. I remember when this came out my guy friends were telling me I should go see it. Guys and rom-coms don't always mix, but the film is such a fun one anyone can talk about it and not lose street cred. Those who know … Continue reading Wakey, Wakey

Christmas In Carvel

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noel! ¡Feliz Navidad! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Feliz Natal! Erry-may Istmas-chray! 🙂 Before the advent of TV, studios invested in movie serials, and one of MGM's most popular franchises was the Andy Hardy series, which followed the adventures of its young protagonist in the Midwestern (?) town of Carvel. The films were sure bets … Continue reading Christmas In Carvel

Announcing the Leap Year Blogathon!

Anyone have a birthday on February 29th, or know someone born on that day? It's an interesting concept, having a birthday every four years--it must feel a little surreal. I'll bet people born on that day celebrate like no one's business. In that vein, I thought it would be fun to commemorate Leap Day next year by … Continue reading Announcing the Leap Year Blogathon!