Category Archives: Betrayed
In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.
I want to start off this installment in the series by admitting up front that our host Lebeau probably has a stronger and more personally informed take on this particular piece of pop culture. I fully expect he will share some of that in the comments section. Although I did grow up with reruns of the Adam West Batman television show running repeatedly on a variety of stations, I ended up both a Marvel guy and someone who took superhero stories just a little more seriously than this version of the “Caped Crusader” ever did. At the same time, if you ever want to participate in a fully tiresome example of “old man yells at cloud,” you might consider engaging me in a discussion on the merits of the “edgy” tone comic books have taken on in the intervening years. The long term reaction of the art form to what it perceived as its undeserved goofy and childish reputation appears to have resulted in a swing way too far in the other direction. The 1960s television Batman is often cited by those who resent the dismissive attitudes many people held toward sequential art.
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George Lucas was the first filmmaker I had ever heard of. I was six years old when Star Wars was released in 1977. The movie became a year-long quest for my young self. While every kid I knew was seeing Star Wars over and over again, I had to make due with the reflected glory of the merchandise. Everything I knew about Star Wars came from cheap packs of trading cards. The kind that used to come with pink, cardboard like “gum”. The cards included behind the scenes pictures and stories which were my introduction to the making of movies.
When I finally saw the movie at a drive-in movie theater in 1978, well, it blew my mind. Despite the fact I already knew the entire story in various other forms, finally seeing Star Wars made a huge impression on me. It was then that I became a movie fan. Without Star Wars, who knows, this blog may not even exist.
Between creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones, George Lucas had a tremendous influence on my childhood. Those characters and movies were incredibly personal to me. So I was understandably excited when Lucas decided to revisit those stories decades later. Like a lot of people my age, I saw that excitement turn to disappointment when the new offerings didn’t live up to my childhood memories.
I’m not going to say that George Lucas destroyed my childhood or anything so melodramatic. But I’m not going to lie. I have felt betrayed by George Lucas more than once.
You will hear two different voices for Esmerelda in the above video, but that wasn’t always the intent. It was believed that the streetwise gypsy dancer should have a less dainty voice than many of the famous Disney female leads, so they invited Demi Moore to come in and work with songwriters Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz on the required vocals. Unfortunately, they found after several attempts that she was not feeling like she could accomplish the singing appropriately. Moore herself asked them to find someone else, but was retained to voice the speaking parts for the role.
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I am a little embarassed by the fact that I ever had any expectations of Kevin Smith as a film maker. But the truth is, once upon a time, I looked to Kevin Smith as a voice for my generation. It seems silly now. But in 1994, it was the truth.
Over the holidays, my parents went to see the new Steven Spielberg film, War Horse. I haven’t seen the film myself, so I can’t weigh in on its merits or lack thereof. But I can tell you in very clear terms that my dad did not like the film. In fact, I would go so far as to say he felt betrayed by Spielberg.