Page To Screen: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Few YA books are as daring as E.L. Koningsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. It's a thinking book. It's also an unthinking book. For those who aren't familiar with the story, Claudia Kincaid is an upstate New York girl with three brothers who feels like there's nothing to set her apart from … Continue reading Page To Screen: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

Page To Screen: The Black Stallion

Who else had to read The Black Stallion for school? I did. Fourth grade. I can't remember anyone complaining about it. In fact, Black Stallion books were kind of the rage in my class. For those who haven't experienced it, the novel follows New York City teenager Alec Ramsey and his friendship with a mysterious, very wild … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Black Stallion

The Documentary of the Future

Hey Boo... Robert Duvall has had a wildly diverse career to say the least. George Lucas, um, not really, but he's George Lucas. In 1971 the two of them made an unlikely team with the release of Lucas's first feature film, THX-1138, a dystopian tale of the world we live in, only not. THX-1138 bears a slight resemblance … Continue reading The Documentary of the Future

This Train Is Bound For Murder

Nice to see Ms. Bergman again... In the seventies, studios liked a lot of star wattage in their prestige films. Maybe it was because their output was so much smaller than it was in past decades, or maybe they were desperate to get audiences away from their TVs and back into theaters. It was probably … Continue reading This Train Is Bound For Murder

The Tower By the Bay

Are you prepared? The seventies were a weird time in Hollywood. Studios were operating on tighter budgets, so the high output of a couple of decades earlier was unheard of. Instead, studios opted for fewer films with big ensemble casts and higher octane production values, and one of these was 1974's The Towering Inferno. Like … Continue reading The Tower By the Bay

A Dangerous Story

Mr. Goldman, I presume... To those of us who are older than thirty-five, the name, "Watergate" is rather charged, as it's one of the most notorious incidents of the last fifty years. I remember my high school history teachers talking more about Watergate than about World War Two or the Civil War. For those who … Continue reading A Dangerous Story

Revisiting the Muppet Movie

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

A Bigger, Healthier Tomato

We've seen a Guilty Pleasure Movie. We've seen a Plain Old Bad Movie. Now, for my third post, we're going to see a "How the Heck Did THIS Get Greenlighted?" Movie. So not kidding. Buckle up, everyone. As you all know, the seventies were a notoriously dicey decade for cinema. They've been well represented this … Continue reading A Bigger, Healthier Tomato

Dinner And A Murder

The dinner-turned-murder-mystery scenario is a pretty durable one, and in some cases it comes off better than in others. 1976's Murder By Death is one of the most memorable in my opinion, and we're going to dive on into it. Murder By Death was written by Neil Simon, and opens, literally, with the opening of a trunk. It's … Continue reading Dinner And A Murder

Stage To Screen: Fiddler On the Roof

This really ought to be a "Page To Stage To Screen" look, because Fiddler On the Roof is based on a collection of short stories entitled Tevye And His Daughters, or Tevye the Dairyman, written by Sholem Aleichem, whose real name was Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich. First published in Yiddish in 1894, they are set in the Ukranian village of … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Fiddler On the Roof

Fun(!) With Eschatology

Lee's getting scary today... I read a book in college, The Thirteenth Generation, that said Hollywood produced a glut of anti-child horror movies during the nineteen-seventies as a way of telling Gen-Xers we weren't wanted. Rosemary's Baby. Children Of the Corn. It's Alive. Poltergeist. All featuring evil murderous poppets who annihilate anyone standing in their way. In the … Continue reading Fun(!) With Eschatology

I’m From the Government, and I’m Here To Help

It's the Movie Scientist Blogathon! Great Scott! We're looking at good scientists today, and what's better than saving all of mankind from a mysterious bacteria? Remember how the Apollo 11 astronauts were put in a mobile quarantine facility to make sure they didn't bring anything infectious back from the moon? Who hasn't seen the pictures … Continue reading I’m From the Government, and I’m Here To Help