Friday, November 4, 2016
Wednesday night, November 2nd, the Chicago Cubs broke their 108 year streak and won Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. At this point, you have no doubt heard about this win and cannot have missed the jokes and media bits surrounding the long drought for the Cubbies over the past, oh, fifty years or so.
The Cubs' 2016 season was one for the record books, with individual players earning honors and a win record that's going to be discussed for a generation or more. At some point, books and movies will memorialize this team and this season, and those adaptations will end in what will seem to be hokey, melodramatic fashion as the series stretches to seven games, then feature a Game 7 that ties up with an outstanding hit by Davis of the Cleveland Indians, then is delayed from going into the 10th inning by a rainstorm. A speech will be given in a players-only meeting by Jason Heyward, a phenomenal outfielder who had a terrible batting slump, but who never, ever gave up. And, the final play will be a showcase for the same meticulous defense we've seen all season by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.
As was being joked about on social media with some friends, it could have only felt more like a Disney movie if they'd needed to sub in a charming 12 year old girl as the closer with her golden retriever behind the plate to catch.
I didn't grow up watching baseball - our family sport was basketball when it was anything. But I've followed the Cubs since middle school, more off than on, thanks to the broadcasts of WGN out of Chicago.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
What's to say at this point about Young Frankenstein (1974) that hasn't already been said?
After we handed out candy last night, which ended early, we came in and put on this movie. As much as Frankenstein and Bride of have become part of my Halloween routine, so has Young Frankenstein become how we put a capper on the holiday - which just isn't that spooky once you're handing out "fun-sized" boxes of Nerds to miniature firefighters, princesses and Batmans for a few hours.
It's been a good, if odd (thanks to the World Series), Halloween season, and we appreciate you bearing with us.
Monday, October 31, 2016
As has become our tradition, we're closing out this spookiest of evenings with Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (aka: The Queen of Halloween).
I hope your Halloween has been spooktacular.
Happy Halloween, every buddy!
In some ways, there's no way in hell this movie could have been made any other time than a certain window post 1985 or before 1991. In other ways, this world is just now catching up to what Cassandra Peterson and company were saying, and an idea that I suspect people of my generation (and older) have a harder time grappling with than the kids today.
I'm not here to argue that Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988) is a bleeding edge comedy, because it has more in common with a sort of groan-inducing shenanigans with a sort of Looney Tunes style of thinking, topped with a winky, we're-not-taking-this-seriously vibe that lands pretty squarely in my wheelhouse.
Cold War spy transmissions? Secret messages from underground organizations? Alien broadcasts? Something from beyond?
I don't know! I don't want to know! They're creepy as hell, and will send you down a terrific rabbit hole of Halloween paranoia! Because somebody is saying something to us and who knows what the hell it is? It's just terrifying Chtulu language presaging the endtimes and great calamity!
Sunday, October 30, 2016
It's been years since I've seen it, but once upon a time, I loved the 1940 movie Rebecca. And, yes, should my ship come in, I am absolutely naming my expansive estate "Manderley". I expect to be very unhappy there and hire extremely creepy staff.
The Uninvited (1944) is not Rebecca, but it feels very much of the same mindset and era, like someone took the basic work and pitched it up in some places, toned it down in others and added some layers of complexity while removing some of the scale. Also - ghosts.
That doesn't mean I didn't like The Uninvited, but it's hard not to see some parallels between stories of lovely seaside houses and the mysteries they hold about their former mistresses. A good PG-sort of fright fest, The Uninvited has genuinely creepy moments and does a pretty good deal on a World War II era budget and with the limited casting options.