Blog Archives

Tip of the Hat to Imagination

One of the best parts about being an uncle is rewatching my favorite movies from when I was a kid. It involves putting in a DVD I own or one from the local library. The entire experience is nostalgic bliss.

Speaking of which, I just finished watching the 1971 classic film ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’ with my niece and mom. Three generations of movie-watchers who differ in cinematic preferences yet this trip down memory lane will always remain one of the all-time greatest films to all who watch it.

Case in point…

That’s what Tuesdays are all about can be all about.

P.S. The world still misses the kind spirit and pure imagination of Gene Wilder. 

Advertisements

That Bold Declaration of Independence Turned 241 Today

August 2, 1776 is a date Americans have burned into their memories as one of the most important days in this country’s history.

Wait…what day was that?

Yes, August 2, 1776, was when John Hancock became the first delegate of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence. And he did so in very memorable fashion, as we all know. As such a critical event in American history, it seems appropriate that August 2nd should be celebrated in America by some kind of ceremony involving citizens signing a document in public squares as large as they can to honor that unforgettably powerful signature by Mr. Hancock during this country’s vulnerable entrance into the world.

Here’s a visual refresher concerning John Hancock, courtesy of the 1972 film 1776.

John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence is a great reminder that if you’re going to do something bold and big, then it’s best to make sure everyone knows that what you’re doing is genuinely a bold action and a big deal.

Like forming a new nation.

Save Ferris (and This Moment)

Movie fans rejoice!

(See previous two blog posts)

The 2016 World Series will be The Cleveland Indians v. The Chicago Cubs.

The Cubbies blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 to win the National League Championship series 4-2 at Wrigley Field to advance to the World Series for the first time seven decades. Despite the fact that Aroldis Chapman was the winning relief pitcher, many of us watching pretended that the Cubs’ pitcher was 12-year-old Henry Rowengartner (1993’s Rookie of the Year).

We just had have to.

Now that the Chicago Cubs are through to the biggest stage in baseball, there are certain people who need to make a televised appearance at the first World Series game at Wrigley Field, sitting in their seats, wearing their same clothes, singing that same song…

Along with a Charlie Sheen/”Wild Thing” entrance and pitch, a recreated Ferris Bueller’s Day Off moment would go down in pop-culture history as one of the best ever.

Even more importantly, Back to the Future: Part II screenwriters Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale deserve tremendous credit for concocting a truly amazing (and admittedly shocking at the time) prediction for the way-off future of October 21, 2015.

Yes, the World Series still needs to be played, but Mr. Zemeckis and Mr. Gale were (potentially) one year away from being stunningly prescient about the Cubs from back in 1989 and the future existence of a Major League Baseball team in Miami, Florida (est. 1993).

And people say movies aren’t real life.

RIP Gene Wilder

One of cinema’s favorite sons, Gene Wilder, died yesterday at the age of 83.

To list a few of Mr. Wilder’s most popular film credits:

  • The Producers (1967)
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Stir Crazy (1980)

To illustrate the impact of an actor, whose acting portrayals far precede my birth, is a challenging task. How did Gene Wilder forever bring joy and fuel an imaginative engine inside the hearts and minds of children (now adults), especially those of us who did not even experience his cinematic works of comedy until a decade or more after the initial release?

The only explanation I can muster is revealed in bright colors, accompanied by a beautiful song in a scene from the 1971 masterpiece Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. This film not only defined a decade, but flipped the switch on who an adult could be in the eyes of a kid: a childlike dreamer.

If that nostalgic trip down Wonka’s way doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, get your tissues ready.

“There were times we would go out to dinner as a family and children would light up at the sight of him and smile. And because he never lost his instinct or sense or sensibility, it occurred to him that if that disease were made public … that then after that smile, some parent may then say something about disease or sadness. And he was such that he could not bear to be responsible for one less smile in the world.”
–Gene Wilder’s nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman on his uncle’s choice not to reveal he had Alzheimer’s disease.

I’ve said on a few occasions that when I finally have a house with a family, on Halloween, I will dress up like Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka and decorate my house like the Wonka factory, ready to hand out world-altering chocolate and candy.

That was Gene Wilder’s everlasting gift: Pure imagination.

RIP Gene Wilder.