Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Star is Born (2018)

A Star is Born (2018)
seen @ Cinema Village, New York, NY

Once upon a time, George Cukor directed a movie called What Price Hollywood? It was about the dream of fame and fortune: specifically, the kind that comes with being a movie star — and who among us hasn't had that fantasy at some point in our lives? The screenplay was nominated for an Oscar.

Five years later, this story was tweaked a bit and became A Star is Born, the universally familiar love story in which the principals traverse the ladder of success in both directions at once.

It's such a universal story that it's been told again and again, in various forms, over the years. It was never done better than in 1954, when in her version, Judy Garland gave one of the greatest performances by a woman in American film history.

It's been a tough act to follow.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Hooray for Bollywood: The legend of Amitabh Bachchan

The 2019 Marathon Stars Blogathon is an event in which participants are encouraged to write about an unfamiliar movie star, hosted by Good Old Days, Wonderful World and Classic Film Addict. For a list of participating bloggers, visit the host sites.

I've wanted to write about Bollywood — Indian films made out of Mumbai (nee Bombay) — for quite awhile, so I'm grateful for the excuse of this blogathon for the opportunity.

The Indian film industry is plenty robust in terms of sheer productivity. Wikipedia says Hindi films account for 43% of the net box office revenue of India.

Every once in awhile I'll pass an Indian video store in the neighborhood and if there's a movie playing on the TV, I'll look at it. If you've seen any Indian films, you know they have their own... how shall I put it?... sensibility that's unlike American films.

I suspect what everyone thinks of first, though, is the dancing. Indians love their dance numbers.

With the sheer volume of Bollywood films, naturally they've had their share of stars over the years. I'm here today to talk about one of their biggest.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Richard Matheson Blogathon continues!

Welcome to Day 2 of the Richard Matheson Blogathon. Debbie kicked things off yesterday; today, I'll collect your links. Here's my post on the movie Duel, in case you missed it. Thanks again for taking part!

Loose Cannons
What Dreams May Come

Moon in Gemini
Amazing Stories: The Doll

Critica Retro
House of Usher

It Came From the Man Cave
Burn Witch Burn

Friday, March 8, 2019


The Richard Matheson Blogathon is an event devoted to the career of the science fiction/thriller writer of film, television and fiction. Debbie and I thank you for taking part. Be sure to check our blogs to discover all the entries!

YouTube viewing

I never learned to drive, so I've never been subject to "road rage." Sure, I've ridden with drivers who have gotten mad at other drivers and vented their frustration at them in some fashion. Sadly, it happens all too often these days because some people are either too ignorant or too impatient to follow the rules of the road.

But being mad enough at another driver to try to do them harm? Man, I hope I never see that first-hand. That takes a special kind of crazy. Why does that kinda stuff happen anyway?

Friday, March 1, 2019

Marvelous links

I finally did it.

I finally got Netflix.

I'm just sampling it out for now; I don't know if I wanna make it permanent yet. I watch it on my new iPad. So far I'm bingeing on Deep Space Nine, rewatching the whole thing from the beginning and remembering why I loved that show so much. Eventually, I'll watch some original Netflix movies and write about them here the same way I would for any other movie.

I gotta say, it's addictive to the point of ridiculousness. To be able to watch DS9, or any TV show or movie available on Netflix, on demand whenever I want, is almost too much power for any one person. And yet now it has become part of everyday consumption, like Amazon Prime, CBS All Access, Hulu, etc.

It's too easy. I just can't help but feel there's a danger in that, like it has less value that way. So far, though, I'm wrong. I hope I stay wrong.


Green Book for Best Picture? Really? I seriously underestimated that one. When I first saw the trailer, I dismissed it as a twist on Driving Miss Daisy — the kind of "can't we all get along" kind of movie I'd seen lots of times before.

Even now, I find it impossible to believe it's a better movie than Roma (which did take three Oscars, including Director). I guess I'll have to give it a look when it comes to cable, but I still say Roma was robbed. And it certainly can't be as good as White Savior!

Yay for Regina King winning Supporting Actress! I've liked her ever since she was a kid on the TV show 227 back in the 80s. She would make a perfect Michelle Obama, by the way...

Yay for Spike winning an Oscar (Adapted Screenplay). Finally.... I was certain Lady Gaga would win Best Actress, so I'm glad she didn't (though she did take Original Song).... Yay for Rami Malek for taking Best Actor, though I still say Rhapsody wasn't that great a movie.

The complete list of winners.


Speaking of Amazon, the recent mishegoss over whether or not they would set up shop here in Queens had me thinking for a moment about their foray into original films.

Oscar winner Manchester by the Sea is one of the biggest successes of Amazon Studios. I've paid to see that, along with the Woody Allen comedy Cafe Society and the recent Polish film Cold War.

The HQ2 situation made me aware of Amazon's business practices, and it makes me a little uncomfortable to support them, but I turn a blind eye to it. Manchester was the kind of film I would want to see and blog about. It's entirely possible other movies of that caliber could be made by Amazon in the future.

It's the sort of compromise we all agree to every day. We pick and choose which stands to take.

More after the jump.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Adventures of Captain Marvel chs. 10-12

Chapters 1-3 Chapters 4-6 Chapters 7-9

Superman was created for DC Comics in 1938, and once it took off, the publisher was really concerned about imitators. There were some running around in the late 30s, but when Captain Marvel took off and was as huge as it was, DC chose to pursue legal action against Fawcett in 1941, which included a failed attempt to stop the Adventures of Captain Marvel serial.

The case didn't come to trial until 1948. Fawcett won, but DC appealed three years later and won. Fawcett settled out of court, paying damages and cancelling all CM comics.

In 1967, Marvel Comics created a completely different "Captain Marvel" character of their own and trademarked it. Over the years, the CM name has been passed down to several different Marvel characters. The one in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie with Bree Larson is the latest version.

In 1972, DC licensed the rights to the Fawcett superheroes, but because Marvel now held the trademark on the CM name, DC had to call their new book featuring the original CM Shazam! As a result, younger audiences thought that was the name of the character in long red underwear with a thunderbolt on his chest.

In 2011, DC finally said the hell with it and officially changed his name to Shazam. I imagine many fans, however, still think of him as CM.

Let's conclude the serial:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2018 Top 10

I saw fewer new movies last year for several reasons: preoccupied with the novel; being with Virginia, doing different things; the rising price of tickets.

Also, more quality films are available exclusively through streaming sites like Netflix. This is a big change that's been difficult for me to accept. When it comes to movies, I'm traditional. I believe the pros of seeing a movie in a theater outweigh the cons — yet that paradigm is shifting.

It hasn't changed completely, though. There are still good movies to be found in theaters if you know where to look. Here are ten of them.