Best. Worst. Movie. Ever.

I heard somewhere that ninety-five percent of idea submissions in Hollywood get rejected. Who knows if it's true anymore, but it's a pretty widespread saying. Naturally, there's nothing stopping hopeful filmmakers from going outside the mainstream, and this has resulted in some...er, very unique movies. Some good, others not so much. Then there's 2010's Birdemic. … Continue reading Best. Worst. Movie. Ever.

The Old College Try

Hello, Mr. Lawford... One of the quirks of the studio era was that very often actors were conscripted into parts. Unless a performer had a lot of clout with the public, they pretty much had to take whatever the studio threw at them. Even then the word, "suspension" got bandied around a lot, but that's … Continue reading The Old College Try

That Lubitsch Touch

Ernst Lubitsch was born in Berlin in 1892 and had a long career in Germany as a comic actor, writer, and director. Britannica says Lubitsch directed over forty films before coming to America in 1923. After seeing a Lubitsch film, people often ask, "What made Ernst Lubistch different?" Especially directors and writers, because they all … Continue reading That Lubitsch Touch

Stage To Screen: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

When I was going for my degree, I had to read a lot of plays, and one of my favorites at the time was Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. It's an existential absurdist spinoff about Hamlet's two college friends, and it's like Groundhog Day in that the action takes place around the title characters. … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Bill and Ted, Tenet and Nolan (No spoilers, though)

It's not often that I get to see two movies I've done Origins posts on within a couple of days of each other, but this is 2020 and nothing is typical ever. We saw Bill and Ted over the weekend via Amazon Prime while noshing on Amy's margherita pizza and Dove chocolate. Then yesterday my husband had … Continue reading Bill and Ted, Tenet and Nolan (No spoilers, though)

Origins: Tenet

Well, lookee here, it's our second Origins post of 2020, and it's only the end of August. The year is young, guys. Heh. Seriously, it's been touch-and-go as to whether or not there would be any Origins this year, what with features either getting ported to video on demand or having their release dates bumped. … Continue reading Origins: Tenet

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

Origins: Bill & Ted Face the Music

Well, well, our first Origins post of 2020, and what better to see in this year of crazy than Bill & Ted Face the Music? To quote Bill S. Preston, Esquire, and Ted 'Theodore" Logan, "Excellent!" Like most Gen-Xers, I have plenty of memories of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. I even had a Bill … Continue reading Origins: Bill & Ted Face the Music

Veg, Gromit

Ah yes, Wallace and Gromit. Who doesn't love these guys? My favorite short of theirs is "A Grand Day Out," because it's a trip to the moon and it's adorable. Wallace won't be kept from his cheese, ladies and gentleman, especially if it's a good Wensleydale. However, cheese isn't free (no, government cheese doesn't count), … Continue reading Veg, Gromit

I Am Spartacus

I've touched on 1996's That Thing You Do! before, and including it in our Five Days At the Fair fest is a no-brainer. That, and the recent untimely death of Adam Schlesinger, writer of the title song, make the timing of this review slightly more fortuitous. Written, partially composed, directed by, and starring Tom Hanks, That … Continue reading I Am Spartacus

Dallas To Donuts

Different city. Different state. Much, much bigger fair. It is Texas we're talking about, after all. Hollywood has never been one to let a beloved property languish on the shelf, and in 1962 Twentieth Century Fox released its remake of State Fair, hoping to make some more magic out of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The new film had … Continue reading Dallas To Donuts

For Your Entertainment

Our state fair is a great state fair. Don't miss it, don't even be late. It's dollars to donuts that our state fair is the best state fair in our state... 1945 was a weary year, but with the end of the war in August everyone was looking ahead to happier times and simple fun. … Continue reading For Your Entertainment

Six Reasons To See “Meet Me In St. Louis”

In 1944 Americans and everyone around the world were weary of war. There was a desire for simpler, happier times, when nothing very big or exciting happened. Hollywood fed into this with movies such as Meet Me In St. Louis, a gentle story about the Smith family as they wait for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, or th … Continue reading Six Reasons To See “Meet Me In St. Louis”

Anybody Could Be Anybody

Good evening (oh, wait)... Every prestigious filmmaker has had their imitators, and there's probably more homage paid to Hitchcock than anyone. One instance of this is the 1997 David Mamet film, The Spanish Prisoner, a tale of twists, turns, betrayal, and secrets. Oh, and it features an unusually serious Steve Martin, but we'll get to that. … Continue reading Anybody Could Be Anybody

Come On In, the Water’s Fine

Swimmers, take your marks... Esther Williams never set out to be a movie star. She was a champion swimmer who dreamed of competing in the Olympics. When the 1940 games were cancelled, she got a job working as a floor model at I. Magnin's Los Angeles store, and then landed a gig with Billy Rose's … Continue reading Come On In, the Water’s Fine