Shamedown #2: Empire Records

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

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Coach Ed

Welcome, sports fans... When people think of Ed O'Neill, many of a certain age default to his iconic, crotchety Al Bundy on Married...With Children. And what did Al Bundy talk about constantly? His football days. O'Neill really was a football player, though. According to A&E Biography, O'Neill won a state championship in high school and a football … Continue reading Coach Ed

Helter Shelter

The time for our first blogathon of the year now approaches... Who can forget what it was like to live through the Cold War? For us regular people (in America, anyway), life would go on in its happy, placid way until something would happen and it would be like, "Oh yeah, the Russians might drop … Continue reading Helter Shelter

Shamedown #10: Armageddon

Our penultimate Shamedown. For those inquiring minds inquiring about the origins of the Shamedown, please visit Cinema Shame. For previous Shamedowns, click here. For some reason or other, in 1998 the world was treated to two nearly identical films two months apart. Both featured a rogue heavenly body about to destroy the Earth and an … Continue reading Shamedown #10: Armageddon

Getting Through

Well, here we are... What if you discovered you or your child had a disability? How would you respond? As humans, we're used to making plans. We like to be in control of what's going to happen next. When those plans get derailed, it feels like the universe is coming apart. Then what? 1995's Mr. Holland's … Continue reading Getting Through

Shamedown #8: Like Water For Chocolate

Mmmmm...chocolate. Chocolate mixed with shame might be a different story, though. Here's the link to Cinema Shame for those of you who would like to know why this post is called a Shamedown. Previous Shamedowns can be found here. The idea of a cook's mood going into their food is certainly nothing new. It's a classic move … Continue reading Shamedown #8: Like Water For Chocolate

Origins: Mission Impossible

Another reboot. Oh, Hollywood, how you do toy with us. No, really, you do. Stop it. Well, to be fair, Mission Impossible: Fallout isn't a reboot, but the latest in the long-running M:I film series. Which is an adaptation of the TV show. Which had its first run from 1967 until 1973, and which was then resuscitated from 1988 … Continue reading Origins: Mission Impossible

It’s Bobsled Time

Everyone enjoying the dog days of summer? Who doesn't love a good underdog story? In 1993 we got treated to one of the best in my opinion, Cool Runnings. Inspired by the real-life first Jamaican bobsled team, it's an enjoyable film about finding unlikely niches. Derice Bannock (Leon) is a teacher and track runner. He wants to … Continue reading It’s Bobsled Time

Becoming Human

Hello, Snake... One of the great things about blogathons is that they can really get a person out of the familiar, and for me, most of Kurt Russell's films are definitely not familiar. Sure, I've heard of him. He's been with Goldie Hawn forever. I saw Stargate. I also saw him play Han Solo in the audition … Continue reading Becoming Human

The Successful Failure

Greetings, Earthlings... Forty-eight years ago as of April eleventh, Apollo 13 blasted off for the moon's Fra Mauro highlands. The public was ho-hum about it, until things started going wrong. Captain Jim Lovell, Apollo 13's commander, wrote a book about his experiences, formerly titled Lost Moon, and Ron Howard used that as his source material for … Continue reading The Successful Failure

Carrying the Banner

In the nineteen-eighties and nineties, there were very few musicals being produced, at least not live action ones. Some people said that it was because Hollywood had forgotten how to make that type of film. There were movies that featured dancing, or maybe a song or two, but as far as films with plot-driven soundtracks, … Continue reading Carrying the Banner

NOW: Dear Friend 2.0

We've seen the "Then," and now for the "Now"... By far, one of my favorite current-day screenwriters is the late Nora Ephron. She came by writing naturally, seeing as her parents both authored plays, books, screenplays, and the like. Before her death in 2012, she crafted films with deft and memorable dialogue, often collaborating with … Continue reading NOW: Dear Friend 2.0