Movies & TV Shows That Made My Childhood Awesome – Part 1

Remember your favorite movies and TV shows growing up?

TV was great, especially during summer breaks and holidays. I used to be hooked on shows like The Fresh Prince and Degrassi, Heartbreak High and Beverly Hills 90210… those were the days!

I used to frantically rent the Marry Poppins video every Friday, borrow Grease from my next door neighbor, binge on Donald Duck cartoons, and watch Disney’s Pinocchio every time I stayed sick in bed.

My childhood favorites form a respectable list, and because there are quite a few worth mentioning, I’ll have to break the list into 3 parts. Ready for part 1?

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Kidd Video

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Kidd Video is an American cartoon created by DIC Entertainment in association with Saban Entertainment.

Plot: A teen rock band is abducted to a cartoon fantasy world where music is the key to defeating their enemies and finding their way home (via IMDb). The show is partially animated as the band are sucked into the cartoon-ish world of villainous Master Blaster and try to find their way back home using super cool music.

I love Kidd Video ’till this very day. I even downloaded the ringtone. This TV show symbolizes the 80’s to me more than anything else and I’ll always cherish it’s very cool 80’s soundtrack that introduced me to quality music like Tears For Fears’ Head Over Hills, Madonna’s Angel, Duran Duran’s The Reflex, Rockwell’s Somebody’s Watching Me and many more.

Kidd Video ran on NBC network from 1984 to 1985, but reruns continued airing until 1987.

Labyrinth

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A fantastic musical created and directed by Jim Henson which I used to be obsessed about when I was a kid. Labyrinth properly introduced me to David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly and I’ll always remember it fondly for helping me pass many afternoons.

Plot: Jareth (Bowie) the Goblin King takes away Sarah’s (Jennifer Connelly) baby brother, as she wished. Regretful she asks for her brother back. In return Sarah (Conelly) has to solve Jareth’s labyrinth in 13 hours before her brother’s finally returned to her.

As The World Falls Down is one of the best songs on the soundtrack, written and composed by Bowie himself. It’s romantic and enchanting and I always fantasized replacing Jennifer Connelly on this scene, dancing with David. Such a breathtaking scene! The entire soundtrack is pretty amazing, actually, with all songs written and composed by Trevor Jones and Bowie.

I adore Jim Henson for creating Labyrinth and I’m also a pride owner of the Collector’s Edition. It’s been a while since I last watched it. I think I overdid it with Labyrinth, but I’ll definitely be watching it with my kids.  I feel I need to pass on the legacy.

The Clan of the Cave Bear

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Woah. Let me tell you… if I here the opening theme now, I’ll probably cry with emotions. This is one movie I watched a lot as a kid with my older brother and cousin. This movie brings up so many memories… They don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Plot: The Clan of the Cave Bear is based on the epic novel of the same name written by Jean M. Auel. It tells the story of a young Cro-Magnon girl orphaned, left exhausted and on the verge of starvation that is found and raised by a group of neanderthals who call themselves “The Clan”. Soon accustomed to the ways of the clan yet still considered an outsider, the girl Ayla (Daryl Hannah) tries to earn her value by becoming a well respected medicine woman.

Daryl Hannah is amazing as Ayla. Such a young actress that pulled off such a complex role. The scene I remember most is the one where Ayla is attacked by a cave lion. She is violently bruised and left with deep scratches across her thigh, nail shaped, which become iconic throughout the movie. Alas, I could not locate that scene on YouTube.

I think I had the illustrated book once. Gosh… I should find it.

Mary Poppins

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Now who does’t remember the most iconic nanny of all time…

I think I broke a Guinness record with Marry Poppins – “the most rented video ever by the same person”.

Plot: Mary Poppins pops out of Edwardian London sky holding a black umbrella and bag to govern Jane and Michael. Unlike the sour-faced candidates aligned for the nanny position, Mary soon becomes a fantasy filled experience for the Banks children and introduces them to a world of music and adventure.

I don’t remember what happened after the video store manager told my dad that I’ve exceeded my Mary Poppins rental rights. But don’t you think it stopped me from getting it elsewhere! I needed my Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, damn it!!

Phew. That’s it for now. This post triggers so many childhood memories. Stay tuned for Part 2. I’m sure you’ll see some familiars on there as well.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share your awesome thoughts with me!

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Looking Forward to…

Hey there!

For those of you not working on Sundays I wanna say TAKE ME WITH YOU!

Here in Israel, we do work on Sundays and it’s usually a draggg…

Today, it took me about 40 minutes to get out of bed, convince myself that this is all for the best and that routine is good for me. This is a self session I go through every single morning while repeatedly mumbling “I can’t do this all over again”.

So, I finish working in like 2 hours and I just can’t stand today and all I can think of is venting and writing and thinking about stuff I look forward to this week.

And so, without further ado, here are the 5 things that’ll hopefully salvage my bored soul from this yawn of a day.

  1. Tap class – the one and only reason I can endure Sundays. Now that I’ve leveled up, I find Tap a LOT more challenging. #taptaptapgiphy (17)
  2. Viking, season 1 – nothing lifts up my spirit these days more than Ragnar Lodbrok’s ocean Blue eyes (I can just drown in them). Thank god for TV, Scandinavia and Travis Fimmel.giphy (18)
  3. Natural Born Killers lecture – how about a glimpse inside the mind of serial killers to shake off a conventional week, eh? Bring on the psycho’s, sociopaths, and utterly deranged. I’d like to pick their brains, please.
  4. Tuesday in McDonald’s – just made lunch arrangements with my other very bored and excitement seeking co-workers. JUNK, JUNK, JUNK! #junkfoodforthesoul
  5. Sleep – I’m pretty sure that doing all of the above grants me the right of a good night sleep.

I’m usually a happy person, unless it’s a Sunday. That’s when I can be a real b$%&^*. On Mondays I’m still recuperating, so I’m basically more communicative on Tuesdays and further on. Until then, I try to take part in activities that require less to no talking. Ahh, venting is good. It’s good for you.

I won’t be doing this every Sunday because I’ll be probably fast asleep on my keyboard, so enjoy this while you can. Anyways, I think it’s a nice change from posting movie reviews. I felt like a change’s in order. You with me?

Thank you for reading. Comments are always more than welcomed.

Genre Grandeur – The Hateful Eight (2015) – Moody Moppet

It’s been a while… but I’m always up for one of MovieRob’s GGs. This time the movie genre was awesome and chosen by Kira of Film and TV 101. Here’s my entry 🙂

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Western CrossoverMovies, here’s a review of The Hateful Eight (2015) – by Reut of Moody Moppet

Thanks again to Kira of Film and TV 101  for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Ashleigh of The Movie Oracle and it is Spoof/ParodyMovies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of November by sending them to spoofashleigh@movierob.net

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Ashleigh!

Let’s see what Reut thought of this movie:

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The Hateful Eight (2015) – Movie Rob’s Genre Grandeur

Howdy, partners!

First off, thanks to Movie Rob and Kira of Film and TV 101 for choosing this great Western Crossover genre. I happily chose an all-time-favorite of mine, a nice little delicacy called The Hateful Eight, directed by Quentin Tarantino. But I guess you knew that already.

So…

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The Picture of Dorian Gray – Book Review

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Happy Halloween!

What’s better than to post about something particularly Goth today?

Well folks, you’ll be happy to know that I have just finished reading The Picture of Dorian Grey and it made me reflect upon my own life and how fun deprived they are. #toomuchwork

TMI? Too sad? Oh, well… isn’t what the blogsphere’s all about? Sharing?

Anyways, I was always super intrigued by the story of Dorian Grey and his submission to narcissism. This story very well written by Oscar Wilde was criticized as scandalous and immoral, so much that Wilde revised the novel in 1891 and added a preface and six new chapters to soften the blow and better explain himself.

The Picture of Dorian Grey is Gothic, vulgar, hedonistic, dangerous and seductive, which makes it an absolute perfection of a novel. Dorian Grey is a dandy young man, endowed by impeccable beauty and charm and very much idolized by society, especially by his friend and portrait maker, Basil Hallward. While posing for his full-length portrait, Dorian meets Basil’s provocateur friend, Lord Henry Wotton, which flaunts his hedonistic world view and sweeps Dorian off his feet. Such decadence was compelling and Dorian was convinced that beauty and youth are the only aspects of his life worth pursuing. Dorian’s behavior derails as he explores the life of sensuality and sin, and what was once a naïve man gradually becomes a monstrosity. When he sees his own beauty reflecting through the portrait, Dorian, much like Narcissus, falls in love. He is besotted, so much that he wishes that the painting would age instead of him. His wish comes true and backfires on him when signs of deformation, cruelty and decay are starting to appear on the image.

So, what’s next for our Dorian?

As the plot moves forward the libertine slowly withers and withdraws from society, bewildered and distressed of what he sees on the image which is creepy as hell, and what does that teach us? That Grey so eager for freedom to act upon his deepest desires is ultimately trapped inside his own vile soul, and that, my friends’ what makes this a very appropriate tale for Halloween.

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I watched the 2009 remake of Dorian Gray starring Ben Barnes and Colin Firth a while ago. Unlike the mixed reviews it received, I remember the film quite fondly, but I’m biased, I love Colin Firth. The film did things quite differently than the novel adding actress Rebecca Hall as Lord Wotton’s daughter, Emily. Her character was not a part of the novel, which kind of surprised me as on the film she was Dorian’s love interest. On the novel, Dorian loved only the beautiful and talented Sybil Vane as she very much reminded him of himself, but this eventually went south just like everything else.

Dorian saw himself in Sybil Vane as Wilde sees himself in Dorian. The character of Dorian inhabits Wilde’s inner fantasies, unresolved emotional conflicts and repressed hidden desires. His Homosexual tendencies are discreetly expressed in the novel making it to provocative and scandalous for the Victorian era, which ultimately resulted in Wilde’s exile.

A leader and promoter of the Aesthetic movement Wilde supported the creating “art for the sake of art” rather than focusing on its moral aspects and the pleasure it may bring to the audience and that is why we experience so many expressions of self-indulgence and maliciousness in this infamous novel. Word on the street is that Wilde was especially influenced by Edgar Ellen Poe (who was an extremist) and Walter Pater who was an advocate of the Aesthetic movement and indirectly contributed literary gems to the novel.

All in all, The Picture of Dorian Grey is an inspiring and overwhelming read and I almost hate to part from it as I have to give it back. The 2009 film is really ok, purely entertaining, but I highly recommend (as always) to read the book first.

Have a spooktacular Halloween

mwahaha!

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The Horrorathon – The Raven (1963)

maddy loves her classic films has announced her Horrorathon a month ago (I’m guessing for Halloween) and I thought I’d pick a Vincent Price film I haven’t seen yet for the occasion.

The Raven (1963) seemed like a good choice because I was always fascinated with Edgar Allan Poe’s work and Vincent Price is one of my favorite actors, but my film verdict isn’t as tolerant as my love for Price.

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Even though I’m usually up to a classic b-movies spoof, The Raven just didn’t cut it for and I truly thought it was a lousy spoof. Even for a spoof, it sucked and I hope Vincent’s ghost isn’t going to come haunting my scared ass just because I said The Raven sucked.

The Raven is b-rated farce about a mediocre wizard (Peter Lorre) turned into a raven by a powerful sorcerer named Dr. Scarabus (Boris Karloff). The wizard turns to Dr. Erasmus Craven (Vincent Price) to ask for help in bringing him back to his human form. Unaware of his powers and still bereaved of the death of his wife, Lenore, Craven takes pity on the poor whining bird and brews a shape-shifting potion. Dr. Bedlo (the former Raven) declares he’s after revenge and tells Dr. Craven he had seen Lenore in Scarabus’ castle and convinces him to come along and see her for himself. Accompanied by his beautiful daughter Estelle and Bedlo’s son Rexford (Jack Nicholson), Craven faces Dr. Scarabus in a duel of magic.

The Raven is not my first Roger Corman film and yet the first one making me go “ohhhh… no”. After a glorified trail of films including House of Usher (producer), Dementia 13 (producer), and The Masque of the Red Death (producer), which I loved, The Raven, I must say, was a bit of a blow which I didn’t bother watching all the way through (your forgiveness, Maddy). Choosing a cast so refined as Corman did is what saves the film from being a total disaster, starting with Vincent Price – the Horror king who always delivered an exquisite performance. The man embeds dread with humor oh so well, and his ghoulish voice is just… AHHH… everything. Watching him act is a delight for any Horror lover when even the shittiest role turns into his masterpiece. The man is a living and breathing horror legend.

The rest of the cast includes A-listers Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, and a then unfamiliar Jack Nicholson. Boris Karloff is one of the most iconic names in Horror cinema mostly known for his mythical characters, The Mummy, Frankenstein and my recent The Black Cat’s Hjalmar Poelzig. Peter Lorre’s Dr. Bedlo is a truly odd looking character much like Lorre himself, which probably explains why he starred in everything terror – Tales of Terror, The Comedy of Terrors, and The Man Who Knew Too Much (not terror). Mystery, Horror, and Oddity are written all over this guy’s face.

Jack Nicholson as Bedlo’s son Rexford, is a total goofball and very much dissimilar to the Jack we all know and love. But I guess we all need to start somewhere.

I love the ghastly setting of Craven’s house and Scarabus’ castle. Nothing does it for me more than old haunted rooms covered in spiderwebs and dim candle lights, morbid paintings of dead wives and in-house mausoleums. Corman is fantastic at setting a grim mood even if he slips in a few comic props.

After all of my ranting about The Raven, I still can’t decide if I was being way too harsh or simply honest. I’ll just remain ambivalent and on to the next one.

Thanks for reading.

The Black Cat (1934) – The Great Breening Blogathon!

Today I’m joining Tiffany from pure entertainment preservation society (PEPS) in her first and awesome blogathon centered around October 14, which is  TODAY, and also the 129th birthday of Joseph I. Breen, the head of the Production Code Administration. My film choice is from an era before the Breen Production Code was actually carried out and I explained, as required, what I think makes The Black Cat a pre-code film.

If you wish to know more about the Production Code during the Breen era, head over to PEPS’s blog.

Also… Tiffany just sent me the link to day 2 of the Breenathon, which includes myself and other wonderful participants’ contributions and tributes, so you can check them out on there as well.

Welcome to my entry for The Great Breening Blogathon!

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The enigmatic Horror The Black Cat (1934) stars two iconic actors Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi pairing up for the time. It is 65 minutes long and released two months before the Production Code was enforced. The film is an obvious pre-code simply because it’s undoubtedly a boundary crosser, according to the code’s guidelines, and includes unpleasant themes such as Pedophilia, Necrophilia, human sacrifice, torture, drug abuse, and Ailurophobia (dread of cats).

** The code required all films released on or after July 1, 1934 to obtain a certificate of approval before being released (according to Wikipedia).

Just as I like ’em, the plot is slightly based on a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. It entails American honeymooners, Joan and Peter Alison, travelling in Hungary by train and encountering a mysterious man named Dr. Vitus Werdegast (Béla Lugosi), which seems oddly taken by the two lovebirds. Following a road accident in which the bride is injured, Dr. Vitus takes the Alisons to the eerie home of an old friend, one Hjalmar Poelzig, a villainous occultist, to recuperate. Trapped and kept from leaving, the lovers end up caught in a strife of good and evil.

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Why I Think The Black Cat is a pre-code film?

** Beware! Spoilers Ahead**

  1. Dr. Werdegast seems a bit fixated on his fellow travelers kissing and cuddling and even allows himself to gently stroke the woman’s hair while she’s sleeping. If anything, his behaviour is odd and unsettling.
  2. The good Dr. is a practiced psychiatrist, and yet he gives Joan medical treatment and injects her a sedative to calm her down and ease her sleep, which later on causes Joan to act erratically.
  3.  Hjalmar Poelzig is an Austrian architect by day and a satanic priest by night, waiting to execute his human sacrifice ritual during the dark of the moon. 
  4. Poelzig nurtures a glorified gallery of dead women kept in glass coffins, suggesting they were former sacrifices and he’s still quite infatuated with their beauty and youth.
  5. Poelzig is seen reading The Rites of Lucifer in his bed with a young blonde woman sleeping next to him. The woman is later on revealed to be Werdegast’s daughter, whom was lost for decades when she was a child. Hints of Pedophilia suggest that Poelzig must have had his eye on the girl since she was young, and when her mother “passed” she became her replacement.
  6. To salvage the Alisons from Poelzig’s monstrosity, the two rivals play a game of chess, gambling on the couple’s lives. An implication of a battle between good and evil, perhaps… and gambling.
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Lugosi & Karloff butting heads on a critical chess game

8. From the moment he met her, Poelzig desires to covets Joan and make her his next human sacrifice. “Don’t pretend, Hjalmar. There was nothing spiritual in your eyes when you looked at that girl.”

9. Discovering his daughter was kept alive and away for all these years, the maddened and vengeful Dr. Werdegast strikes down his devilish friend and hangs him by his arms only to skin him alive. “Ultra violence”. ⏰🍊

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Fun facts 

  • Karloff’s character, Hjalmar Poelzig, draws inspiration from Aleister Crowley’s life, infamous for being “the most notorious occultist magician of the twentieth century” and the most wicked man the world has ever witnessed.
  • The Black Cat is notable in pairing Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi for the first time.
  • The film’s original title was House of Doom, as director Edgar G. Ulmer tried to create an arresting feeling of doom on each Poelzig house scene.

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The Black Cat wasn’t critically acclaimed in Hollywood back then and is considered an underdog, despite of his legendary cast. It was quite abnormal for its cinematic era. It’s not a scary film per se, but it has so many rough edges and does leave you pondering upon its jagged plot overall. I mean, satanism, dark rituals, human sacrifices, and perverted suggestions cannot be that easily brushed off, after all.

By the way… 

I ran into Danny’s blog, pre-code.com, on which he completely dissects The Black Cat and explains why it is a pre-code film and does it so remarkably well. If you want to delve more into this wonderful film, check it out!