Donna S.'s blog

Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Folklore – Revisited and Retold

We all grew up with the stories, so we know them backward and forward.  But in the past few years, some writers have taken those stories and turned them inside out, upside down, and sideways.

Usually when Hollywood decides to make or remake (or remake and remake!) a fairy tale or fantasy novel or folklore, the story stays basically the same.  Walt Disney stayed close to original sources, though he softened some parts of the stories and even introduced some original characters.

Politics and Elections and Comedy

On Tuesday, November 8, the United States will elect a new president.  It’s a big day for our country.  And it’s been a long, winding, doozy of a campaign this time.  No matter what happens, this election will make history.

But, as I said, this has been a long campaign.  Even though it will be over soon, maybe you can use a break from all the drama and -- inadvertent comedy -- of this past year with some actual real comedy about politics and politicians -- and sometimes their families.

Star Trek

Fifty years ago, a phenomenon was born.  A television series embraced and enjoyed to this day.

Star Trek.

There’s probably not much new about this series that I could relate here.  It’s known around the world.  But for those who may not be as familiar with the Original Series and its numerous spinoffs, here’s a bit of background.

Gene Wilder (1933-2016)

It doesn’t matter if there was a remake a few years ago.  For most of us there’s only one Willy Wonka. 

Gene Wilder.

75 Years Ago...

When you’re a classic movie fan, there’s one bit of common knowledge that is universally accepted: 1939 was a best year for movies.  There’s a lot to be said for that year.  Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Wuthering Heights, and so many others.

Garry Marshall (1934-2016)

Garry Marshall didn’t win Oscars.  He didn’t win an Emmy, although he was nominated several times.  He was also nominated for Writer’s Guild awards, but didn’t win.  In later years he received honorary awards from the Guild.  But by and large, those accolades we associate with successful writers and producers and directors eluded him.

However, it’s safe to say that his work is among the most enjoyable, fun, and crowd-pleasing that movies and TV have to offer.

Olivia de Havilland

The golden age of Hollywood produced so many stars we remember and enjoy even today.  Most of those actors and actresses have left us.  But one lovely, talented actress is with us still: Olivia de Havilland.  And on July 1st, she turned 100 years old.

Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

When talented people are lost to us, it’s always sad.

When that person was so young, it’s even worse.

80 Years Ago...

A funny thing happened on my way to this week’s blog.  I was mulling over writing about some old movies, because I like to suggest/encourage/urge people to see more of the past treasures of Hollywood.  Whenever I tune into Turner Classic Movies, as long as the film is black & white, I’ll stop to see what it is, who is starring in it, and what it’s about.  And very often, I’ll find a new old treasure to enjoy.

Partners in Crime

It should come as no surprise that I have a great fondness for mysteries and, particularly, cop shows and movies.  From lighter fare to dark thrillers, I’ve enjoyed watching the good guys take on the bad guys.  That might come from my earliest years watching Perry Mason.  Then moving on to The Streets of San Francisco, Dragnet, Adam-12, Columbo, the original Hawaii Five-O.  Of course all of those series have one big thing in common: all the crime solvers were men.

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