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Monthly Archives: March 2016

10 Things I Loved about Universal Orlando’s Theme Parks


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My family and I recently spent a few days in Orlando at Universal’s theme park and entertainment complex, and there is plenty to like when a large company puts so much effort into drawing big crowds in with lively, exciting, and immersive attractions and environments. There are some obvious examples that people who have only thought about visiting Universal are probably already aware of. First and Foremost, there’s the twin Harry Potter lands. Also, there’s the expanded Simpsons area of the original Universal park. With a truly impressive group of properties like Shrek, Despicable Me, Jurassic Park, Transformers, Men in Black, and their legendary set of classic monsters to choose from, Universal has created a crowd-pleasing destination. This list will mostly avoid the more obvious examples of the attractions which pull people into the parks by the millions each year. Mostly. There will be little to no coverage of the new Diagon Alley area here and we’ll be sticking to the theme parks exclusively, so that means nothing about CityWalk or the resort where we stayed. You’ll have to wait for information on those topics in later posts.
Got it? Let’s begin!
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Golden Raspberry Awards: 2004


Razzies 2004

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The twenty-fifth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2004.   A pair of sequels, Shrek 2 and Spider-Man 2, were the highest-grossing movies that year.  Million Dollar Baby was named Best Picture and Clint Eastwood took home his second Best Director trophy.  The top acting awards went to Hilary Swank and Jamie Foxx.  Politics dominated the Razzies and there was a rare Catwoman sighting.

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Hot Dog Hall of Fame at Universal’s CityWalk


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Ten days before my trip to the Universal theme parks in Orlando, Lebeau posted a preview of a new dessertery coming to Universal called the “Toothsome Chocolate Factory” which will feature crazy varieties of ice cream sundaes. Unfortunately, it is not scheduled to open until long after my return from Universal. We did discuss some of the things I might see that Lebeau and family didn’t have a chance to experience in their visit to Orlando back in June. One thing that came up was the CityWalk Hot Dog Hall of Fame and the menu did manage to elicit some enthusiasm for some of us, so I figured why not give it a look-see and report back to you guys?
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Feeling Fearless


Reeves - Feeling Minnesota

Steven Baigelman may have been the luckiest rookie in Hollywood in 1996.  Not only did he sell his first script, the quirky crime comedy, Feeling Minnesota, he was also tapped to direct the movie despite the fact he had no prior experience.  And then, big league Hollywood stars were cast in the lead roles!  How does someone get so damn lucky?  Michael Atkinson tried to figure it out in the Young Hollywood issue of Movieline Magazine.

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The Walking Dead: East


The Walking Dead East

When I am scheduling articles for my blog, I set up blank drafts as place holders.  When The Walking Dead is on the air, every Monday gets a recap.  If the title is available, I go ahead and pre-fill it.  More often than not, the working title of the episode changes and I have to update the name of the article before I publish it.  I mention this because the original title for “East” was “The Calm Before.”  When I saw the title, I had a pretty good idea of what the episode was going to be.  “East” is a time-waster before season six gets to its buzzed about final episode.

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Readers Rank the Batman Movies


Batman Posters

For the last couple of weeks, we have been looking back at Batman and Superman movies of the past.  After ranking the movies starring Batman from worst to first, I asked readers to do the same.  Usually, the reader rankings are pretty close to my own.  But we’ve got some big differences this time.  Overall, the votes were spread out more than usual reflecting a general lack of consensus.

Let’s take a look at how the readers ranked the Batman movies.
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Edward Furlong: Melancholy Baby


Furlong - Before and After

Of the 100-plus subjects covered in the “What the Hell Happened” series, Edward Furlong’s story is one of the most depressing.  At a young age, the troubled youth was caught up in a whirlwind of fame, fortune and family disputes.  Things spiraled out of control from there.  In this interview from the March 1996 issue of Movieline Magazine, Furlong discussed his controversial relationship with his former tutor, denied using drugs or knowing Leonardo DiCaprio, and hoped for better things to come.

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Jennifer Grey Gallery

Young Gums


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March was Young Hollywood month at Movieline which typically meant a lot of snarky articles about the rising stars of the day.  In the March 1991 issue, Joe Queenan examine the rise of seven young actors and actresses with movie star smiles.

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Sequelthon: Superman II


Flashback/Backslide is running a “Sequelthon” with guest bloggers contributing reviews of several movie sequels. Naturally, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to write up Superman II. On the day that the latest Superman movie hits theaters, let’s take a look at the last time a Superman series had a second entry.

Flashback/Backslide

Welcome back to the Sequelthon everyone! Today we are happy to host a review of Superman II written by Lebeau from Lebeau’s Le Blog. Head over to his site to read a huge catalog of awesome content including the “What the Hell Happened?” series. Coincidentally, Superman II is currently in the Sweet Sixteen of our DC Comics Movie Tournament running right now.Head over to vote in all the matchups.


superman ii In 1978, the super hero genre came to the big screen with Superman: The Movie .  The original script for that movie was high camp.  It even included a cameo appearance for Telly Savalas as Kojak.  In one scene, while looking for Lex Luthor Superman would have found a bald man who turned out to be the TV detective.  This is but one of example of what Superman: The Movie might have been.

Fortunately, fate intervened…

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Superhero Smackdown: Batman Vs. Superman


Batman V Superman

At long last, Batman and Superman are finally sharing the silver screen.  Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice finds the two heroes at cross purposes.  If you want to see how that plays out, you’ll have to see the movie.  Or you could just watch the trailer and assume that they team up with Wonder Woman to fight Doomsday and form the Justice League in the already-announced follow-up movies.  But where’s the fun in that?  Like most cinematic prize fights, this one will probably end inconclusively.  But that’s not how we roll here at Le Blog.  We’re having a Super Hero Smackdown which will end with a definitive victor.  Who will it be?  The Man of Steel or The Dark Knight?

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Kelly Le Brock Gallery

Golden Raspberry Awards: 2003


Razzies 2003

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The twenty-fourth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 2003.   The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  and Finding Nemo were the highest-grossing movies that year.  The final chapter in The Lord of the Rings trilogy took home both Best Picture and Best Director while Sean Penn and Charlize Theron were named Best Actor and Best Actress.  The Razzies, on the other hand, were all about Bennifer.

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