Thought for the day

It’s a strange world we live in when washing a kid’s mouth out with soap is considered inhumane, yet kids regard it as a challenge to eat Tide Pods.

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We are Jaguars — but like us anyway

 

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On the week that I’m writing this, my hometown of Jacksonville, FL is going ape-s**t because for the first time ever, our football team, the Jaguars, are participating in an AFC championship game, possibly to take us to the Super Bowl. If you weren’t particularly aware of Jacksonville before now, here’s a primer on how obnoxious we are (at least when it comes to football).

Announcing THE END OF THE WORLD BLOGATHON!

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It’s the end of the world as we know it, and we feel fine. In fact, we feel like blogging about it in…

THE END OF THE WORLD BLOGATHON!

Along with my blogging colleague Quiggy at The Midnite Drive-In, we are looking for blogs about movies with apocalyptic themes. Specifically, we’d look you to write about a movie (or movies) in which a plot or subplot is the threat of the world ending (whether or not that actually occurs by movie’s end), or movies with a post-apocalyptic theme.

(Since there are so many movies with these themes, we request no duplicate entries for this blogathon. Please check the list at the end of this blog entry [which will be kept updated] to ensure that your choice has not already been taken.)

How Do I Join the Blogathon?

In the “Comments” section at the bottom of this blog, please leave your name, the URL of your blog, and the movie you are choosing to blog about. At the end of this blog entry are banners for the ‘thon. Grab a banner, display it on your blog, and link it back to this blog.

The blogathon will take place from Fri., March 30, through Sun., April 1, 2017. When the opening date of the blogathon arrives, leave a comment here with a link to your post, and we will display it in the list of entries (which we will continually update up to the beginning of the ‘thon, so keep checking back!).

We will not be assigning particular dates to any blog posts. As long as you get your entry in by the end of the day on April 1, we will be satisfied. (That said, the earlier the better!)

Again, be sure to leave a comment below and grab a banner, and have fun with your blog entry! Here’s the line-up so far, in chronological order:

Caftan Woman – When Worlds Collide (1951)

Tam May, Author – Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

portraitsbyjenni – Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 and 1978)

The Midnite Drive-in – On the Beach (1959) and 12 Monkeys (1995)

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and the “Bob & Doug McKenzie in Mutants of 2051 A.D.” segment of Strange Brew (1983)

Moon in Gemini – WarGames (1983)

Maddielovesherclassicfilms – Deep Impact (1998)

Open Letters to Film – V for Vendetta (2005)

Thoughts All Sorts – Sunshine (2007)

Reelweegiemidget Reviews – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

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John McCabe’s MR. LAUREL & MR. HARDY (1961) – Beautiful tribute to Stan and Ollie

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Prof. John McCabe befriended Stan and Babe after meeting them at one of their British-hall performances in the 1950’s, and one of the byproducts was this wonderful book. At the time of its first publication, biographies and histories of movie comedians were scarce, and their filmed work, while broadcast frequently on TV, was at the mercy of programmers who would butcher these comedy classics to get commercials in. Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy, along with Robert Youngson’s movie compilations of silent-era comics, helped to renew fervent interest in the duo’s movies and assured them of their rightful place in film history.

I hadn’t looked at this book in a long while, but recently on the podcast “Maltin on Movies,” film historian Leonard Maltin and show-biz gadfly Mark Evanier reminisced about their favorite Laurel & Hardy moments, and they highlighted this book in particular. So I re-read my dog-eared copy of the book for the umpteenth time, and it made me realize that, just as Stan and Ollie’s love for each other shown through in their movies, so McCabe’s affection for the duo shines through in his book.

It must be noted that elements of the book have dated somewhat. Years after its publication, Laurel & Hardy movies that had been regarded as long-lost have turned up over the years, so the book must regarded as of-its-time as far as completeness is concerned.

Another dated part of the book is its entries on the movies that Laurel & Hardy made for Twentieth Century-Fox in the confines of the big Studio System. While rightfully depicted as lesser than their work for Hal Roach, McCabe posits that the quality of the films got worse and worse in order to “freeze out” Laurel & Hardy, as though Fox, the studio that hired them in the first place, wanted to use its corporate clout only to put a great comedy team in their place. In fact, some of the later Fox films have their champions (see Scott MacGillivray’s terrific book on this subject); it’s more likely that Fox had not a clue what to do with comedians who wanted to do things their own way.

But these are minor debits in regard to the overall quality of the book. McCabe otherwise documents the duo’s history succinctly and lovingly. One of its most charming parts is Chapter 2, which begins with some correspondence between McCabe and Hardy’s widow Lucille. McCabe did an interview with “Babe” (as Hardy was affectionately known off-screen) in the 1950’s, and McCabe asked Lucille for permission to print it in his book. At first she declined. But after some introspection, she wrote McCabe back and said that McCabe’s printed interview had triggered personal memories of Babe, and she realized she was being selfish not to allow the interview to be printed. This correspondence is followed by the interview itself. Thus, the entirety of Chapter 2 shows how much Hardy’s work with Laurel deeply affected everyone, from fans to his widow.

This lovely book is long out of print but is well worth seeking out. It’s a perfect introduction to Laurel & Hardy for those who are unfamiliar with their work, and a great look back for those who have enjoyed L&H for years.

THE HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGATHON – Da Big Finish

Apparently, a few of our blogathon participants are nursing New Year’s Eve hangovers, as we have only one final entry to cover in

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Moon in Gemini describes how New Year’s Eve reverses the sad fortunes of Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eddie Murphy, and Denholm Elliott in the comedy Trading Places.

Click on the appropriate days to see our blogathon entries from Day 1 and Day 2. Thanks to our participants and our loyal readers, and Happy New Year to everyone!

THE HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGATHON – Day 2 Recap

Our New Year’s Eve bloggers continue to shake things up, as you’ll see in

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Click here to read Day 1‘s entries, and click on the name of each individual blog below to read their Day 2 entries. (Also, I neglected to include Thoughts All Sorts‘ entry in the Day 1 Recap. My sincere apologies.)

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Some friendly strangers prevent suicidal Pierce Brosnan from going A Long Way Down on New Year’s Eve, as reported by Thoughts All Sorts.

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Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews harks all the way back to the silent-film era for a New Year’s Eve ride in The Phantom Carriage.

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Noirish explains how, on New Year’s Eve, Joan Leslie gets a Repeat Performance of the past year to see if she can get it right this time.

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The Midnite Drive-In takes a look at some shallow slackers celebrating New Year’s Eve in New York City, in 200 Cigarettes.

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And Movierob provides a double feature of apocalyptic New Year’s Eve movies: the comedy Ghostbusters IIand the Arnold Schwarzenegger thriller End of Days.

Join us tomorrow for the final chapter of our celebration of New Year’s Eve-themed movies!