got62

Game of Thrones, Season 6: The Great, the Good, the Meh & the Ugly

BIG SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 OF GAME OF THRONES.

How about that season of Game of Thrones? The first one to truly disembark from the books (with only a few sections from A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons thrown in) it hit way more highs than lows. Winter is FINALLY here, and it’s awesome!

Continue reading “Game of Thrones, Season 6: The Great, the Good, the Meh & the Ugly”

demetrius6

The Sword & Sandal Blogathon: Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)

This post is part of the Sword & Sandal Blogathon, hosted by Debbie (that’s me) at Moon in Gemini. Read the other posts in this event HERE!

Demetrius and the Gladiators is the sequel to The Robe (1953). It was planned even before The Robe was released, which is the only classic sword and sandal epic to have a sequel.

The reason I chose this for the blogathon is two-fold: it has all the elements I associate with sword and sandal epics: ancient history (which is surprisingly accurate at times), big action scenes in and out of the arena, and Biblical miracles. Not to mention a good amount of sensuality that somehow made it past the Hays Office.

Continue reading “The Sword & Sandal Blogathon: Demetrius and the Gladiators (1954)”

gwtw5

The Olivia De Havilland Centenary Blogathon: Melanie Wilkes, Deconstructed

This post is part of the Olivia De Havilland Centenary Blogathon, hosted by Crystal of The Good Old Classic Days of Hollywood and Phyllis at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Read the rest of the posts in this event HERE, HERE, and HERE!

The amazing Olivia De Havilland turned 100 years old two days before the writing of this post. She released photos of herself and she looks MAH-VE-LOUS! What a treasure! What an actress!

I’ve always felt she’s bit underrated as an actress. True, she has two well-deserved Academy Awards (for To Each His Own, and The Heiress) but it seems she never received the fan worship Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis enjoyed.

Continue reading “The Olivia De Havilland Centenary Blogathon: Melanie Wilkes, Deconstructed”

producers5

The Mel Brooks Blogathon: The Producers (1967)

This post is part of the Mel Brooks Blogathon, hosted by The Cinematic Frontier. Read the rest of the posts in this tribute HERE!

My mother, who has had a very strong influence on my love of movies, hocked me mercilessly about watching Mel Brooks’ The Producers when I was a teen. At the time there were no Blockbusters or Netflix or VHS or DVDs, so it was not easily available.

Continue reading “The Mel Brooks Blogathon: The Producers (1967)”

stand5

Nature’s Fury Blogathon: The Stand (1994)

This post is part of the Nature’s Fury Blogathon, hosted by Barry at Cinematic Catharsis. Read the rest of the posts in this furious event HERE!

Film and television have a long tradition of showing us how nature will one day turn against us, and most likely with help from human beings.

Stephen King’s epic apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic novel The Stand is a tale of how government manipulation of the flu bug for militaristic purposes accidentally escapes from a lab and wipes out most of the population.

Continue reading “Nature’s Fury Blogathon: The Stand (1994)”

placesun9

A Place in the Sun (1951): Sexual Chemistry Changes Everything

This post is part of the 2nd Annual SEX! (Now That I Have Your Attention) Blogathon, hosted by Steve at MovieMovieBlogBlog. Read the rest of the sizzling posts HERE!

The 1951 movie A Place in the Sun, starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and directed by George Stevens, is an adaptation of Theodore Dreiser’s classic novel An American Tragedy. The book was based on a famous early 20th century murder case about a man who was executed for drowning his inconveniently pregnant girlfriend.

It was previously made into a movie in 1931 (starring Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sydney, and Francis Dee) that is a fairly straightforward adaptation of the book. It was a flop at the box office, and consequently the studio was wary of remaking it. Stevens was given a far smaller budget than he wanted.

placesun11

However, the film went on to both critical and popular acclaim, winning many awards.

Today, it is not remotely as well-regarded as it once was. I would argue the reason for its acclaim in the 1950s is pretty much the same reason the film is now seen as a lesser film.

That is the extraordinary onscreen chemistry between Clift and Taylor.

Continue reading “A Place in the Sun (1951): Sexual Chemistry Changes Everything”

crucible1

When Your Neighbors Use the Law to Kill You: The Crucible (1996)

This post is part of the Order in the Court! Blogathon, hosted by Theresa at CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch and Lesley of Second Sight Cinema. Read the rest of the lawful posts HERE!

Confession time (which is appropriate for a post about a legally-themed movie):

When I chose the 1996 version of The Crucible as my topic for this blogathon, I hadn’t seen it in 20 years. I remember seeing it very clearly. I was unemployed at the time and going into Manhattan from Queens every few days for job interviews. There used to be a $2 movie theater in mid-town. Since it seemed a shame to shlep into Manhattan just for an hour or so, I would often stop there to see a movie before heading home.

I saw lots of good movies, including Apollo 13 and Braveheart. It was a revelatory experience to see them in that theater, because the audiences were far less staid than those who lined up outside the first-run theaters uptown. People would actually be engaged with what was happening on screen.

I think that’s the positive feeling I recalled when I chose The Crucible, and not anything about the actual movie.

Continue reading “When Your Neighbors Use the Law to Kill You: The Crucible (1996)”

colormoney8

The Athletes in Film Blogathon: The Color of Money (1986)

“Money won is twice as sweet as money earned.” – Fast Eddie Felson, The Color of Money.

This post is part of the Athletes in Film Blogathon, hosted by Aurora of Once Upon a Screen and Rich of Wide Screen World. Read the rest of the posts in this event HERE and HERE!

When I first heard about this blogathon, I have to admit I wasn’t that excited about the topic. Sports on film are never as exciting to me as watching an actual sporting event. Stories about athletes tend to be awfully rote. There are exceptions, of course, but I had pretty much decided to skip this event.

Then I thought of one of my very favorite movie characters: Fast Eddie Felson, played by Paul Newman in the 1961 film The Hustler and in the sequel 25 years later, The Color of Money.

Continue reading “The Athletes in Film Blogathon: The Color of Money (1986)”

desiree5

The Royalty on Film Blogathon: Désirée (1954)

This post is part of the Royalty on Film Blogathon, hosted by Emily at The Flapper Dame. Read the rest of the posts in this royal event HERE!

I could be wrong, but it seems to me the book Désirée, by Annemarie Selinko, was a rite of passage for many women of my generation, along with reading Jane Eyre and Gone with the Wind. Every time I bring it up in the company of two or more women in my age group, at least one is sure to say:

“I love that book!”

Continue reading “The Royalty on Film Blogathon: Désirée (1954)”