Monthly Archives: July 2014
Believe it or not, the What the Hell Happened? series is now four years old! I thought it would be fun to see who has been paying attention. So I’m going to start posting a series of quizzes to test your knowledge of past WTHH subjects.
The quiz starts after the jump. No cheating off your neighbor!
The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year. New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom. These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion. But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years. I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report. But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up. So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.
I got an e-mail from a reader this morning who wanted me to check out his new website. I have to admit, I approach these kinds of requests with some hesitation. Most blogs and websites start out with a lot of sound and fury and then run out of steam pretty quickly. And more often than not, these websites don’t really have much of a reason to exist. But this one has a fresh hook that I think my readers will enjoy. So I wanted to share it with you all.
The site is called That Moment In. It looks back at memorable scenes from the movies. To quote from the site’s intro:
We think most movies have something good to offer, even if it’s just one scene. So we’re going to snip and clip films, and show you what we believe are the parts of a movie that stood out to us, good or bad. Do you like movies? We do.
So far the site has covered movies like Blade Runner and the Karate Kid. But it’s not just limited to “modern classics”. The next entry scheduled to be posted is about the Rachel McAdams rom com, About Time. I have spend some time reading the site and I look forward to spending some more. Check it out. I think you’ll like what you see.
This past weekend was another down week at the box office. As I mentioned in last week’s poll, the summer movie box office has been down around 20% over last summer. Hollywood is in a near state of panic. They keep telling themselves that 2014 is an off year because the big franchises are all taking the year off. Instead, there is a pile up of anticipated movies next summer which Hollywood hopes will reverse the trend.
It’s a song that at least a few of us have heard, a theme song to a TV show that at least a few of us have watched. It was kinda big, yet the group that recorded it had no other hits.
Well, not quite.
DC Comics has released the first image of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman from their upcoming super hero flick, Batman v. Superman.
John Carter – I could write an entire article on John Carter. Where to begin?
Lisa Loeb’s plaintive, but enduring break-up/no break-up song “Stay” caught lightning in a bottle in the spring of 1994, becoming one of the most indelible recordings of the year and sitting atop the Billboard singles chart for three weeks. Anytime somebody says her name, the image of Loeb stalking the interior of her New York City apartment of the time pops to mind, along with those gently percussive acoustic guitar notes. It is an iconic moment in mid-90s pop culture. So simple and honest that it becomes totally engrossing, standing up to repeated viewings and listens. Speaking as a nerdy boy who was in his 20s at the time, her charming cat eye glasses and tiny dress with tights look sure didn’t hurt. Kind of like if Agent 99 from Get Smart became a librarian instead. How the hell could the idiot in the song think of allowing a split?
“Stay” was so huge that it is hard to remember that it wasn’t the only Loeb song to hit the charts. Well it wasn’t.
Read the rest of this entry
Today is National Batman Day in celebration of the character’s 75th anniversary. People around here know that I am a pretty big Superman fan. But I’m a Batman fan from way back. As a kid, all of my friends were into Superman. He was more powerful. He had a movie and he was the leader of the Superfriends. When we played super heroes, all the other kids argued over who got to be the Man of Steel. But not me. I wanted to be Batman.
This month, Daffy and I discus under-rated movies, TV shows and music. We also call out the entertainment we think is over-rated. Our choices may ruffle some feathers. Even Daffy and I can’t see eye to eye on this one. Our conversation veers from Finding Nemo to Eyes Wide Shut. We’ve got zombies and orgies and people getting shot in the head. It just may be the wildest episode we have recorded to date. By the end, I’m looking for a new co-host and Daffy is eulogizing Casey Kasem. It’s a silly show that is bound to be under-rated by some listeners.
The show is embedded after the jump. Hope you like it.
Hollywood is in a tizzy over the weak box office this summer. Grosses this past weekend were down 25% over last year. And overall, the summer is down about 20% over last summer. While there haven’t been a lot of huge bombs, there also haven’t been many break-out hits.
Thirty years ago, it was a different story. In 1984, Hollywood was enjoying one of the best summer movie seasons of all times. Several movies from that summer are still remembered fondly today. (Many consider 1984 to be a banner year overall – not just the summer movie season.) What’s your favorite movie from the summer of ’84?
Chicago is a fun place to visit any time of year, or at least, 3 seasons out of the year for most people. This year the RB clan decided on the spur of the moment on a midsummer visit to the Windy City to see the fireworks display off Navy Pier. While I don’t mind at all going there even in the dead of winter, there’s something really liberating about not being encumbered with winter coats, and all that warm clothing. A casual summer weekend in Chicago can easily be accomplished with what you can fit into a backpack.
Lea Thompson is best known for playing Michael J. Fox’s mom in the Back to the Future trilogy. For most of the 80’s, she seemed like an actress poised for stardom. But when the decade ended, Thompson’s movie career dried up. From there, she transitioned into television. First as the star of her own sitcom and then in frequent made-for-TV-movies. Despite having worked steadily for more than three decades, Thompson never achieved A-list status.
What the hell happened?