We watched The Muppet Movie on the last day of the So Bad It's Good Blogathon. It was my son's idea. It felt a bit ironic doing it right as the Academy Awards were going on, because it's funny how much Hollywood has changed. Heck, it's funny how much the Muppets have changed. When The Muppet Movie came … Continue reading Revisiting the Muppet Movie
Historically, circuses were a way of exposing a largely hometown-bound public to exotic animals they would never see in the wild, and shows have always tried to outdo each other in spectacle and novelty. In 1941, Disney asked, "What could be more novel than a flying elephant?" and released its classic film, Dumbo. In 2019, Tim Burton … Continue reading Origins: Dumbo
And off we go... So we're here to discuss M. Emmet Walsh, namely, his role in 1997's My Best Friend's Wedding. Walsh's part is microscopic, but he still makes a fine contribution to a classic rom-com. Julianne (Julia Roberts) is a food critic on the line of James Beard. When she eats at a restaurant, the staff … Continue reading On the Sidelines
There have always been teenagers, at least in the chronological sense. Teenage culture as we know it today, however, is a relatively new phenomenon, and it's a funny thing. Its public face is arbitrated and controlled by the adults with varying degrees of involvement from actual members of its demographic, and may not necessarily reflect … Continue reading Reading Rarities: Teenage Confidential
Meow... I always like working more silent movies into my film-watching experience, and while I wish I could be more deliberate about it, the silent films I do get to see are generally surprises. One of the nicest ones so far is 1927's The Cat and the Canary. Based on the successful John Willard play of the … Continue reading The Purrfect Crime
Film fest time... Bela Lugosi is best-known for playing Dracula in the 1931 Universal film. He played the role on Broadway as well, and he originated what we immediately think of when vampires come to mind (Not looking at you, Twilight.). Hauntingly slow speech. Clawed hands. A sweep of a cape. Bela Lugosi did it all first. Lugosi … Continue reading Bela Lugosi Versus the Vampire
I don't know about anyone else, but D.W. Griffith isn't my fave. From what I've found out about him, Besides the fact that Griffith was a flaming racist, I think he's overhyped. Some believe he invented the epic (he didn't), the close-up (nope--that may have been George Albert Smith), and the use of big crowds … Continue reading Sister, Sister
And now for Shamedown #2. Want some background on Shamedowns? Please visit Cinema Shame here. In 1995, the same year I graduated from high school, an ensemble film called Empire Records hit theaters. It wasn't a success; it really didn't go anywhere. Still, when it popped onto Netflix, I thought, "Why not? Liv Tyler's cool. Nostalgia sounds … Continue reading Shamedown #2: Empire Records
"As someone once said, 'There's a difference between a failure and a fiasco.'" It's ironic that 2005's Elizabethtown kicks off with that line, because the film isn't considered one of Cameron Crowe's best, not by a long shot. For all intents and purposes, it's Crowe's swan song. Cameron Crowe was, of course, the successor to John Hughes, … Continue reading The Fade-out of Cameron Crowe
It's back! When the Broadway Bound Blogathon made its debut last year, more than one person approached me about making it an annual thing, and you know what? I agree with them. We need a little Broadway in our lives. Since we only scratched the surface of the Great White Way last year, we're going … Continue reading Announcing the Second Annual Broadway Bound Blogathon!
There's no getting around it: Little Shop of Horrors is an unusual musical. Anything with a carniverous talking plant is not going to be a typical garden-variety story (See what I did there? 😉 ). What's really unusual is that Little Shop of Horrors started out as a 1960 Roger Corman film, then became a stage musical in … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Little Shop of Horrors
Surprise blogathon time... One of Jean Harlow's most striking features was her platinum blonde hair, of course. It wasn't natural; Howard Hughes thought a bottle job would kickstart ash-blonde Harlow's career. He wasn't wrong. Harlow quickly became a sensation. Her new image got an additional boost when she starred in the 1931 vehicle, titled...what else? Platinum Blonde. The … Continue reading Do Blondes Have More Fun?