In 1964 the United States developed a love affair with four young men from Liverpool, England known as The Beatles. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. By the time they reached the United States they had already been popular in England for two years and had been contracted to film their first movie A Hard Day’s Night. That was soon followed by their second Film Help! Then came two semi psychedelic films Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour. If you haven’t seen them they are worth a look, if only for the history of both the music and the band. Read more about The Fab Four Films
In the early 60’s I remember going through atomic bomb drills in school. We were dutifully herded by our teachers down to the depths of Roger’s Elementary school here in Bloomington, past the furnaces, and seemingly below the floors to the area in which we were to remain until the radiation levels dropped enough for us to come out. I can still remember the big storage cans of water stacked along the walls and under stairwells marked with the Civil Defense emblem. I assume, though I can’t really remember seeing them, that there were food rations that were available for us to eat as well. Along with the television advertisements for cereal, candy and toys we saw public service announcements with “Burt the Turtle” teaching us how to “duck and cover” if we should ever see the flash of an atomic bomb. How naïve these advertisements and steps seem today when more accurate information about atomic blasts and radiation is common knowledge. We know for example that we can’t survive an atomic blast by hiding inside of a refrigerator. Read more about Atomic Café
Today I lost a friend though I did not know him personally. He has been a part of my life since I was ten years old and Star Trek first aired. Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning. He was 83. His best known role was that of Mr. Spock, first officer of the USS Enterprise. The character Spock was a Vulcan/Human mix, not devoid of emotion, but able to suppress and control his emotional responses. For many of us who thought we were different Spock gave to us a role model that showed us that we could overcome our limitations and excel in what we chose to do and be. He told us it was okay to be different and that was really a good thing. While Nimoy alternately tried to remove himself from the character of Spock and embraced it he was forever in our minds the symbol of diversity that epitomized Star Trek. Spock’s devotion to logic inspired us to examine our situations and understand how they could be improved. Read more about Leonard Nimoy 1931 - 2015
Imagine if you will traveling across the country with your best friend and stopping for snacks at a small town gas station. Shortly after you leave you, glance in the mirror to see and hear the flashing lights and the siren of a police car. You are about to be charged with the cold blooded murder and robbery of the proprietor of the gas station you just left. Your only hope for freedom is your eccentric cousin Vinny, a New York lawyer who has yet to win a case. Read more about My Cousin Vinny
Get ready for all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood with this evening’s Academy Awards! While you’re waiting for a copy of one of this year’s popular Oscar nominees, we suggest revisiting some Best Picture winners of the not-so-distant past.
12 Years a Slave (2013) -- What better way to get ready for the Oscars than by rewatching the Best Picture winner from last year! The film won four Academy Awards and is based on the 1853 memoir of the same name by Solomon Northup. Northup was a free African American man with a wife and children when he was abducted in Washington, D.C. and sold into slavery. This moving film depicts Northrup's years as a slave working on plantations in Louisiana and fighting for the freedom to return to his family.
No Country for Old Men (2007) -- No Country for Old Men was directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, who are known for their films Fargo, The Big Lebowski, and most recently, Inside Llewyn Davis. No Country for Old Men is the winner of four Oscars and is based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel by the same name. The film is a dark thriller about a hunter in Texas who stumbles upon two million dollars and the deserted scene of a bloody drug deal gone wrong. He flees but is pursued by a merciless hitman out for revenge.
Chicago (2002) -- This dazzling musical won six Academy Awards in 2002. Dancer Velma Kelly, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and aspiring performer Roxie Hart, played by Renee Zellweger, live in the Jazz and booze infused 1920s Chicago. Both women are accused of murder and are sent to jail to await trial. While behind bars, they make a plan to win fame and public sympathy to escape death sentences.
Opening Lines: “Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge.” The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn." The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige."
While growing up in Bloomington, I had the pleasure of knowing a professional stage magician. He made a small living performing at various conventions and meetings around the United States. As a small boy of 10, I found him fascinating. He took me under his wing for a while and gave me what he called a beginning magic kit. It wasn’t the type you found in magic stores. This was something special. Read more about The Prestige