Less Phantom, More Opera

Surprise blogathon time... From the 1925 Lon Chaney classic to the beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber leviathan of a musical, The Phantom of the Opera is a perennial showstopper with its soaring music, swinging chandelier, and all-around creepiness. Sandwiched among the many onscreen iterations is the 1943 version starring Claude Rains as the Phantom with Nelson … Continue reading Less Phantom, More Opera

Before the Rainbow

Judy Garland is so tied to the role of Dorothy, and pretty much every role that followed it, that it's easy to forget what her career was like before she clicked her Ruby Slippers together. One of my favorites of her pre-Oz movies is 1938's Listen, Darling, a fun road trip-meets-Parent Trap dramedy that features durable … Continue reading Before the Rainbow

The Man With No Name

Yee haw... Ah, 1964's Per Un Pugno Di Dollari, better known as A Fistful of Dollars. I've never seen it until now, but I always felt as if I had since it's pretty notorious. If Stagecoach is the Bela Lugosi of westerns, A Fistful of Dollars is Christopher Lee with a generous dash of Kung Fu. Or something like … Continue reading The Man With No Name

I Honestly Like This Movie

Sometimes you just need a good popcorn flick. Or any popcorn flick. Even the guilty pleasure variety. For me, one of those guilty pleasures is 2001's The Wedding Planner, a movie in which the titular character has always been outside looking in at happy endings. For those who aren't familiar with the plot, it's this: Mary … Continue reading I Honestly Like This Movie

The Imperfect Nature of Existence

My hometown of Auburn, California is not unfamiliar with Hollywood or celebrity culture. Neither is Placer County. Among other distinctions, Mary Pickford bought the bar in one of our Old Town saloons (today Carpe Vino) and installed it at Pickfair. A train carrying some crystal candlesticks she ordered derailed in Auburn. A young John Steinbeck … Continue reading The Imperfect Nature of Existence

Everyone’s Just Stuck

We're back on Amazon Prime, guys. I hate to look like a shill, my Affiliate stuff notwithstanding, but The Map of Tiny Perfect Things has been intriguing me for a while, and now the time has come to answer that call. Based on a 2016 short story by Lev Grossman, who also wrote the screenplay, it's … Continue reading Everyone’s Just Stuck

Six Reasons To Go “Legally Blonde”

I know any guys reading this might be groaning already, so this post is probably for the ladies. Come to think of it, some of the ladies might groan, too. *wicked chuckle* 😉 Anyway, Legally Blonde is twenty years old today. How time does fly. For those who aren't familiar with the plot, it's simply … Continue reading Six Reasons To Go “Legally Blonde”

We’re Being Invaded…Again

OK, so it took me a little longer than I thought to get a new review up, but I've been a wee bit tired, although it's a good kind of tired. If you've been following my Instagram, you probably know I just went on a wonderful trip to Rapid City, South Dakota with my son … Continue reading We’re Being Invaded…Again

Stage To Screen: Chicago

A year or two ago my friend Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews fame asked if I would review one of her favorite movies, 2002's Chicago, and I wanted to, but I kept putting it off and putting it off. Now the time has finally arrived, and I'm not only going to review Chicago but give it … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Chicago

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

We're back on Broadway, people. Eleanor's back. George Murphy's back. Fred Astaire's back...oh, wait. This was his first and only Melody, although he did dance on the real Broadway, so there's that. After the rather confusing and lackluster Broadway Melody of 1938, MGM went for a less-is-more approach with what became the final film in the Broadway Melody series, The Broadway … Continue reading Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

Trend Pimps and Style Junkies

Funny how these reviews happen sometimes. When I was working on another post last month I thought I'd have 2001's Josie and the Pussycats on in the background as white noise. Heh. Yeah, no. Josie and the Pussycats begs to be noticed. It's either one of the smartest movies ever made or one of the … Continue reading Trend Pimps and Style Junkies

Why “Peter Pan” Might Be Your Ideal First Silent Movie

Swish, swish... Who else likes silent movies? I do. I'm no expert, but I've been dipping my toe into that pool for a few years now and it feels fine. One of my favorites is Peter Pan, which came out in 1924 and stars Betty Bronson as Peter, Mary Brian as Wendy, and Esther Ralston as Mrs. … Continue reading Why “Peter Pan” Might Be Your Ideal First Silent Movie

There’s A New Sheriff In Town

Looking for a few good men... Anyone who's ever been in a school anywhere, teacher or student, public, private, religious, whatever, knows that the average class can smell fear. Even a Sunday school class can be fraught with peril. Some teachers claw their way through it. Others buckle. Still others end up bringing it, whether … Continue reading There’s A New Sheriff In Town

Brave Walter Mitty

I'll see you in my dreams... I remember reading "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in the eighth grade because my lit teacher, Mz. Howell was a big James Thurber fan (Yes, she spelled her "Ms." with a "Z." She was a fun lady.). Anyway, the story was originally published in the March 18, 1939 … Continue reading Brave Walter Mitty

Charge the Pipe

The surf is up again, folks, only it's not of the Frankie and Annette variety. Oh, no. Today we'll be looking at the 2002 film, Blue Crush, starring Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, Matthew Davis and Mika Boorem. I always get that one Bananarama song in my head when I think of this movie, probably because the … Continue reading Charge the Pipe