The HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGATHON is here!

Happy Early New Year! The ball hasn’t dropped yet, but plenty of opinions will, as we present

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Keep us bookmarked over the next three days, as bloggers post their opinions on New Year’s Eve-themed movies. If you are one of said bloggers, please go to the “Comments” section below, and post the URL of your blogathon entry; I’ll link to it as soon as possible. Faithful blog readers, keep checking back, and click on the names of the highlighted blog entries to read their reviews.

And everyone, have fun with this! Here is the list of blogathon entries:

Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews – The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Once Upon a Screen – The Thin Man (1934) and After the Thin Man (1936)

Noirish – Repeat Performance (1947)

Silver Screen Classics – Sunset Boulevard (1950)

SeanMunger.com – The Apartment (1960)

Cinematic Scribblings – Il Posto (1961)

Moon in Gemini – Trading Places (1983)

Movierob – Ghostbusters II (1989) and End of Days (1999)

Open Letters to Film – Mermaids (1990)

Moody Moppet – Four Rooms (1995)

The Midnite Drive-in – 200 Cigarettes (1999)

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Rent (2005)

Thoughts All Sorts – A Long Way Down (2014)

 

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Two weeks until THE HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGATHON!

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Got a favorite movie with a New Year’s Eve theme or subplot? Celebrate it with our upcoming blogathon — because old acquaintances should not be forgot! Click here for more details.

I LOVE LUCY – “Lucy Does the Tango,” first broadcast on 3/11/57

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The following is my contribution to The Lucy & Desi Blogathon, being hosted by Michaela at the blog Love Letters to Old Hollywood on Dec. 1-3, 2017. Click on the above banner to read bloggers’ tributes to the stars of “I Love Lucy,” Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz!

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(WARNING: Major spoilers abound!)

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Every Lucille Ball fan has his or her favorite Lucy episode or moment. For me, it’s “I Love Lucy’s” 20th episode of Season 6, “Lucy Does the Tango.” When the punchline to that tango routine comes, I feel as though I’ve died and gone to comedy heaven.

The best thing about “I Love Lucy” was that executive producer (and, of course, co-star) Desi Arnaz realized that Lucy Ricardo’s craziness had to be rooted in reality and logic. Once a plausible situation was established, then the comedienne could go to town.

“Lucy Does the Tango” establishes that premise exquisitely. Lucy and Ricky Ricardo (Ball and Arnaz) and their best friends Fred and Ethel Mertz (William Frawley and Vivian Vance) are co-running a farm in Connecticut. They invest in full-grown hens, but the hens aren’t laying any eggs. As Fred is the primary farm runner, he’s taking a loss, and Ricky won’t listen to his pleas for a salary. The two men feud, and Fred threatens to move himself and Ethel back to New York if the hens don’t start laying eggs.

Lucy and Ethel are crushed at the thought of separating. So they buy a huge load of eggs, which they plan to hide under the hens to fool the men into thinking the hens are producing. Fred is watching over the farm, so the women decide to hide the eggs in the clothing they’re wearing and sneak past Fred to dispatch the eggs.

Unfortunately, the plan never gets to its last part. Just as the women are swollen with hidden eggs, Ricky makes a surprise daytime appearance at the house so that he can rehearse the couple’s tango number that they’ll be performing for the local PTA.

The only thing better than this premise’s plausibility is its anticipation of what’s to come. The episode begins with Ricky and Lucy properly rehearsing the tango, so you can see how it’s really supposed to go. When they rehearse the second time, you just know what’s going to happen, and the tango routine takes its own sweet time in getting to the climax.

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But when it does, the payoff is delicious (for everyone except Lucy). Watch how Ball mines every possible laugh from that payoff. (And you can all but see Arnaz chewing on his tongue to keep from breaking up.)

Here’s some fun trivia about this episode. Lucille Ball’s reaction to the broken eggs was genuine. When she and Vance rehearsed the episode, they didn’t use real eggs because Ball wanted to get the spontaneity of the big crash on film. Also, Lucy’s reaction to the broken eggs prompted the series’ longest continuous laugh — 65 seconds’ worth. The laugh had to be cut in half to get the episode back on track.

The famous scene is embedded below. Savor it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

Announcing THE HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGATHON!

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Are you about ready for 2017 to call it quits? So are we! We’re starting the celebration early by announcing…

THE HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGATHON!

For this blogathon, we’re looking for blogs about any movie that has any kind of theme related to the last day of the year. New Year’s Eve can be the central focus of the movie, or it can be a minor subplot. As long as the movie was theatrically released, it can be in any form or genre — short subject, feature film, cartoon, comedy, disaster movie, etc. Our only request is for no duplicate entries, since there is such a wide array of New Year’s Eve-based movies to choose from.

(If you need some inspiration in finding such a movie to blog about, click here to see Wikipedia’s comprehensive listing of movies that are set around New Year’s Eve.)

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 Friday, Dec. 29, through (guess when??) Sun., Dec. 31, 2017. When the opening date of the blogathon arrives, leave a comment here with a link to your post, and I will display it in the list of entries (which I will continually update up to the beginning of the ‘thon, so keep checking back!).

I 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 Dec. 31, I will be satisfied. (That said, the earlier the better!)

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

Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews – The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Once Upon a Screen – The Thin Man (1934) and After the Thin Man (1936)

Noirish – Repeat Performance (1947)

Silver Screen Classics – Sunset Boulevard (1950)

SeanMunger.com – The Apartment (1960)

Cinematic Scribblings – Il Posto (1961)

Moon in Gemini – Trading Places (1983)

Movierob – Ghostbusters II (1989) and End of Days (1999)

Open Letters to Film – Mermaids (1990)

Moody Moppet – Four Rooms (1995)

The Midnite Drive-in – 200 Cigarettes (1999)

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Rent (2005)

Thoughts All Sorts – A Long Way Down (2014)

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THE ADRIENNE BARBEAU BLOGATHON is here!

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This is one blogathon where I’d like to begin by acknowledging the upcoming contributions of the ‘thon’s stalwart entrants. Even though, surprisingly, participation in this ‘thon is as skimpy as Adrienne Barbeau’s costuming in Swamp Thing, we’re gonna party like Adrienne dancing around bralessly on “Maude”!

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Seriously, La Barbeau has had a multi-faceted show-biz career that’s based on not taking herself too seriously, and it is in that spirit that we honor her with this blogathon. If you’re just here for the read, bookmark us and keep checking back over the weekend for some fun entries. If you’re a blogathon writer, please post your ‘thon’s URL and the name of your blog in the “Comments” section below, and we will link to it as soon as possible. Now…on with the show(-it-all)!

Here are the participants — click on their blog’s name to link to their entries:

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Adrienne in Swamp Thing (1981)

Realweegiemidget Reviews – Adrienne in The Fog (1980)

The Dream Book Blog – Books written by Adrienne

Movie Rob – Adrienne in Back to School (1986)

Moon in Gemini – Adrienne in The Great Houdini  (1976)

Old School Evil – Adrienne as the voice of Catwoman in TV’s Batman: The Animated Series

 

Announcing THE ADRIENNE BARBEAU BLOGATHON

(To my regular coterie of readers: Please forgive me, but you had to know that this one was coming sooner or later.)

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Say what you want about actress/author/frequently bra-less star Adrienne Barbeau, but she has certainly given her all for her art. (Or, as Adrienne herself once stated regarding an Off-Broadway show she co-starred in, “It’s not easy, singing upside down in a headstand on a raised platform with your unfettered breasts hitting you in the chin.”)

Four decades ago, Barbeau parlayed what could have been a one-note, one-joke role — as Bea Arthur’s lingerie-lacking daughter on the sitcom “Maude” — into a fairly multi-faceted career. She has starred or co-starred in countless stage productions and theatrical and TV movies; been a voice-over artist in cartoons and video games; sung in cabaret and on a self-titled CD; and has written several books, including her memoir.

She also famously gave birth to twin boys at age 51, making her (as she put it) “the only one on the maternity ward who was also a member of AARP.”

And finally, she was quite the sex symbol in the late 1970’s and early ’80s, most notoriously with the 1978 pinup poster that found her fairly spilling out of a purple corset. (At this point, we’ll let Barbeau’s notable physical attributes speak for themselves.)

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How Do I Join the Blogathon?

  1. Write a blog about any aspect of Adrienne’s career listed above, or of some aspect we did not cover. As there is plenty of subject matter to cover (ahem), we request no duplicate entries. (Also, as tempting as it is, keep any innuendo to the PG-13 level or lower.)
  2. In the “Comments” section at the bottom of this blog, please leave your name, the URL of your blog, and the Barbeau-related subject 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.
  3. The blogathon will take place from Friday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. When the opening date of the blogathon arrives, leave a comment here with a link to your post, and I will display it in the list of entries (which I will continually update up to the beginning of the ‘thon, so keep checking back!).

I will not be assigning particular dates to any blog posts, so as long as you submit your entry by the end of the day on Oct. 1, I will be satisfied. (However, as I always say, the sooner the better!) Be sure to grab one of the banners below, and have fun with your blog entry!

Here’s the line-up so far:

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Adrienne in Swamp Thing (1981)

Realweegiemidget Reviews – Adrienne in The Fog (1980)

The Dream Book Blog – Books written by Adrienne

Movie Rob – Adrienne in Back to School (1986)

Moon in Gemini – Adrienne in The Great Houdini  (1976)

Old School Evil – Adrienne as the voice of Catwoman in Batman: The Animated Series

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IT’S JUST A JOKE: THE MOVIE PARODY BLOGATHON is here!

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Welcome! Keep us bookmarked for the next three days, as some gifted bloggers offer their takes on their favorite movie parodies — either spoofs of a particular genre, or a movie whose plotline sends up a particular style of movie or TV show.

If any blog entry below is highlighted, click on the movie’s title to link to that blog entry. If you are a blogger who’s submitting your entry, please post your blog’s name and the entry’s URL in the “Comments” section below, and I’ll link to it ASAP. You are allowed to submit your entry at any time between Sept. 1 and 3 (although as I always say, the sooner the better!)

Here’s the line-up:

Silent-ology – Show People (1928)

The Dream Book Blog – Smile (1975)

The Midnite Drive-In – This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Moon in Gemini – Soapdish (1991)

Realweegiemidget Reviews – Team America: World Police (2004)

Movie Movie Blog Blog – Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical (2005)

Dell on Movies – Black Dynamite (2009)