Category Archives: movies
“Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”
I am certain I did not see Dead Poets Society when it first arrived in theaters in 1989; I probably didn’t see it until more than two years later when I could drive to Blockbuster and rent it on VHS. Maybe I saw an “edited for television” version at some point before then. One thing I can tell you: when I did see Dead Poets Society, the movie had a major impact on me.
I have always been in love with writing. I often put it off and procrastinate and beat myself up for my lack of skills, but I cannot resist the pull of putting words to the page. The words of John Keating, portrayed by the legendary Robin Williams, inspired me as a teenager. I wanted to seize the day. I needed to make my life extraordinary.
Somewhere along the line, though, “real life” got in the way. I gave up on dreams until I stopped dreaming. I walked away from opportunities because of fear of failure and lack of self-confidence. I discouraged myself, despite the encouragement of others all around me.
Now, three decades later, I want to seize the day; I still feel the need to make my life extraordinary. And I still have no idea how to do that.
Have the adventure of your life keeping up with the Joneses.
Indiana Jones is at it again, this time with dad in tow in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Harrison Ford appeared again as the main character, while Sean Connery joined the cast as Professor Henry Jones and River Phoenix played a teenage Indy in the third film in the series.
The movie was recognized with an Academy Award for Best Sound Effects Editing, beating Black Rain and Lethal Weapon 2. It was the third Oscar for Ben Burtt, who took home an Oscar in 1981 for Raiders of the Lost Ark and in 1982 for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
Last Crusade is set largely in 1938, placing it after the events of Temple of Doom (1935) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1936). The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was set in 1957. With over 767,000 users voting, Last Crusade has a 94% score on Rotten Tomatoes.
If adventure has a name…it must be Indiana Jones.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom burst into American movie theaters on this date in 1984. The film received heavy criticism at the time due to violent scenes, which led director Steven Spielberg to suggest a new rating between “PG” and “R.” In July, the Motion Picture Association of America introduced the “PG-13” rating.
Harrison Ford reprises his role as the titular character in the second installment of the Indiana Jones series, a prequel to the 1981 blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark. Temple grossed over $333 million worldwide, and was the third highest-grossing film of 1984, behind Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters. Wow, 1984 was a great year for movies.
If I were forced to rank the Indiana Jones movies thus far, I would have to rank them in the order they were released. Raiders of the Lost Ark is far and away the best, although I have to say I have enjoyed them all. Yes, even Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, and James Garner star in Maverick, the western comedy based on the 1950s television series of the same name. The supporting cast was quite good, including James Coburn, Denver Pyle, and Corey Feldman. There were quite a few uncredited guests as well, including director Richard Donner, John Fogerty, Danny Glover, Margot Kidder, and Reba McEntire.
The movie has its moments, but the real treat is the soundtrack, a virtual rundown of the biggest country music names in the ‘90s. Clint Black, John Michael Montgomery, Tracy Lawrence, Confederate Railroad…a ton of talent packed into about 40 minutes of music. Many of the artists featured on the soundtrack also appeared in minor roles in the movie.
Clint Black’s “A Good Run of Bad Luck” is easily my favorite song on the record. It also appears on Black’s own No Time To Kill album. The Maverick soundtrack hit #4 on the Country charts, and #35 on the Billboard 200.
We waited 16 years…for this?
And then there was Jar Jar Binks.
What was George Lucas thinking?
Yeah, that’s what he was thinking.
The Phantom Menace is now 20 years old. I’m glad George sold the rights to Disney, and I’m glad JJ Abrams gave us The Force Awakens in 2015 and will bring us The Rise of Skywalker later this year. Let’s not talk about The Last Jedi. Ever. Please. Thank you.
- These Should Exist: The Karate Kid Edition [Branded in the 80s]
- Kentucky Is Home to the World’s Only Ventriloquism Museum [Mental Floss]
- Joe Schlabotnik: My Favorite Player [Infinite Baseball Card Set]
- The Art of the Trim: Practice of Cutting Baseball Cards Began Earlier Than You Think [Pre-War Cards]
- What if? A look at Eric Davis, Nomar Garciaparra and Grady Sizemore, three Cooperstown careers cut short [Sporting News]
- In Classic Children’s Books, a Window to Childhood in Past Centuries [The New York Times]
- Sony Pictures sets a March 2021 release date for Masters of the Universe! [He-Man.org]
What I’m Reading Right Now: Almost Yankees: The Summer of ’81 and the Greatest Baseball Team You’ve Never Heard Of by J. David Herman.
Star Wars. It’s a cultural phenomenon. Long before the Avengers ruled the silver screen, George Lucas’ space opera captured the hearts and imaginations of moviegoers everywhere in the late 1970s.
I’ve ranked the Star Wars films before, but I’m going to do it again (without referring to my previous ranking). Tell me where I’m wrong…
- 1. Episode IV: A New Hope
2. Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
3. Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
4. Rogue One
5. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
6. Episode VII: The Force Awakens
8. Episode II: Attack of the Clones
9. Episode I: The Phantom Menace
10. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Where will Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker fit into the saga?
[Ok, I couldn’t resist looking back to see how I ranked them shortly after seeing Solo in theaters. I had ESB above ANH, and Solo came in at #4 because it was new and shiny. In the end, it doesn’t really belong in this list because it has so little to do with the overall saga, but I love it anyway. AOTC actually settled into the last spot. So there have been some slight adjustments over the past year, but nothing really earth-shattering.]
(May 19, 1944 – April 30, 2019)
Words escape me. He didn’t speak English, but Chewbacca was certainly one of the more entertaining Star Wars characters. The actor underneath all the fur, Peter Mayhew, passed from this life April 30.
The actor’s family shared the news via his official Twitter account:
The family of Peter Mayhew, with deep love and sadness, regrets to share the news that Peter has passed away. He left us the evening of April 30, 2019 with his family by his side in his North Texas home. pic.twitter.com/YZ5VLyuK0u
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) May 2, 2019
The official Star Wars account and several other people involved with the franchise shared memories and photos on Twitter, as did fans of the lovable fuzzball…
"We are deeply saddened today by the news of Peter Mayhew’s passing. Since 1976, Peter’s iconic portrayal of the loyal, lovable Chewbacca has been absolutely integral to the character’s success, and to the Star Wars saga itself."-Kathleen Kennedy.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 3, 2019
He was the gentlest of giants-A big man with an even bigger heart who never failed to make me smile & a loyal friend who I loved dearly-I'm grateful for the memories we shared & I'm a better man for just having known him. Thanks Pete #RIPPeterMayhew #Heartbroken @TheWookieeRoars pic.twitter.com/8xbq9HEWF2
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) May 2, 2019
— JJ Abrams (@jjabrams) May 3, 2019
RIP Peter Mayhew. To create a beloved character with warmth and humor is a testament to any actor’s spirit. To do it under a half ton of yak hair takes a true legend. ❤️❤️
— Rian Johnson (@rianjohnson) May 3, 2019
R.I.P 😔 pic.twitter.com/FWRgaOS0Tf
— Joonas Suotamo (@JoonasSuotamo) May 2, 2019
#Mayhew did an extraordinary thing, conveyed empathy, humor and an incomparable soulfulness, all from inside that furry suit. My dad often said, “Chewie is the moral center of Star Wars.” It’s something Peter created & @JoonasSuotamo has faithfully continued and expanded.
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) May 2, 2019
— DARTH VADER (@isDARTHVADER) May 2, 2019
"I loved him." Harrison Ford bids farewell to 'Star Wars' co-star Peter Mayhew https://t.co/aRdZ6cEu8I
— TIME (@TIME) May 3, 2019
George Lucas remembered Peter Mayhew: “He was the closest any human being could be to a Wookiee: big heart, gentle nature … and I learned to always let him win. He was a good friend and I’m saddened by his passing" https://t.co/kkPgKJs9dR
— Variety (@Variety) May 3, 2019
— Matt Lanter (@MattLanter) May 3, 2019
Peter Mayhew created one of the greatest film characters of all time. Chewbacca was funny, courageous, and caring. He did it all without the benefit of speech, just that vocal growly cry that 1 in 100 fans can do real well when they're drunk. He was always really nice to me.#RIP
— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) May 3, 2019
You will always represent the best friend I have been drawn to all my life. Thank you Peter Mayhew for breathing life and sensitivity into #chewbacca #rip #becurious @starwars https://t.co/GpzMUWReBp pic.twitter.com/muKRkasvf0
— Dominic Monaghan. (@DomsWildThings) May 3, 2019
So sorry to hear the news that the great Peter Mayhew has passed away. His portrayal of Chewbacca in the #StarWars universe was humorous, heartfelt and tough – all at the same time. He will be missed. My condolences to Angie and all his family. May the Force Be With You Always! pic.twitter.com/pVrwn6nxHf
— Stephen Stanton (@Stephen_Stanton) May 3, 2019
Thank you, Peter Mayhew.
Goodbye, Chewie 😔 pic.twitter.com/WfzTpUGvNH
— pictoline (@pictoline) May 3, 2019
R.I.P. Peter Mayhew😔 pic.twitter.com/nWpAjkWzte
— Eva Calviño (@calvino_eva) May 3, 2019
— brian kesinger (@briankesinger) May 3, 2019
- Meet Ray Lamb, the last Dodger to wear Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 — by mistake [Los Angeles Times]
- Report: Arrow Season 8 Will Feature Smallville Alum Tom Welling [CBR.com]
- Of Myths and Men (pt. 1) [SABR’s Baseball Cards Committee]
- Neil Young and Crazy Horse set to record their first album in seven years [Consequence of Sound]
- Bootlegging Dreams Into Reality [Branded in the 80s]
- 8 Silent Films Every Sci-Fi and Horror Fan Should See [io9]
- Reflections On Worship, From A-Z [Preacher Pollard’s Blog]
What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, still working on it.)
- Boss Hogg Served in the Korean War as a Counterintelligence Officer & Could Speak 5 Languages [War History Online]
- A Tale Of Two Trophies [The Topps Archives]
- Don’t think Trice, it’s alright and The power of the eraser [SABR’s Baseball Cards Committee]
- 2019 WAR Update [Sports Reference]
- Changing the World Through Love: What I Noticed When I Read 1, 2, 3 John [Radically Christian]
- Toy Story 4 finally gets a full-length trailer, and my heart already hurts [Consequence of Sound]
- 10 Dialogue Errors Writers Should Avoid [Writers Write]
What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson.
Purchase the debut album from The End Machine!
(The End Machine features classic-era Dokken members George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown, with current Warrant vocalist Robert Mason behind the microphone.)