4 items from 2012
Universal has announced plans to once again update The Little Rascals, the series of Hal Roach-produced Our Gang shorts that so lifted the spirits of the nation in the early 20th century with their hilarious, adorable exploitation of child labor. Fittingly, the only confirmed star as yet for this, the first revival of the franchise since Penelope Spheeris' 1994 film, is 7-year-old Eden Wood, who was whelped in the same Toddlers & Tiaras mill that produced Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Unfortunately, while Wood's own spinoff, Eden's World, similarly succeeded in providing the all-important schadenfreude that comes from watching »
All good wishes for a happy St. Patrick’s Day from me—and two of the cutest Our Gang kids from the early-talkie period, Bobby “Wheezer” Hutchins and Mary Ann Jackson. The original caption from the 1929-30 season refers to them as “a couple of Micks.” Hard-working publicists at every studio in Hollywood hauled out the shamrocks for poses such as this on an annual basis—no less so at the comedy headquarters of producer (and Our Gang creator) Hal Roach, himself of Irish heritage. (In fact, there is a veteran Irish standup comedian who bears the same name.) My collection seems to be shy of other corny publicity shots to commemorate this March holiday,...
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- Leonard Maltin
With the the annual Oscars ceremonies occuring in a the next few weeks ( Febuary 26 to be exact ) we movie buffs may want to check out some of the nominated films prior to the many red carpet shows that day. For most of the big catagories, it’s just a matter of heading to the multiplex ( where films like The Artist are still playing ) or marching into your video store, finding a vending dispenser, or logging into movie rental site ( for films like The Help ). Yes, for the feature films it’s pretty simple. But what about those two mysterious short film catagories : live-action and animated ? For many years, their only real exposure was a very brief sequence ( a few seconds, really ) as each film’s title was announced by the presenters during the big telecast. This was not the case during Hollywood’s golden age. A night at the old Bijou ( or Majestic, »
- Jim Batts
Directed by Stephen Herek
Written by Steven Brill
imdb, USA, 1992
To mark my guest appearance on Josh Speigel‘s Mousterpiece Cinema podcast to talk about The Mighty Ducks, I decided to jot down my own thoughts about the film, much as Josh did.
I would never describe The Mighty Ducks as a great film, but it is an incredibly fun film and amazingly rewatchable. On initial viewing, it’s the comedy slapstick of the young hockey players that draws your attention, while it’s the relationship between arrogant lawyer turned hockey coach Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) and hockey team captain Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) that keeps you watching. Follow-up viewing reveals how accurate and specific the film is in its hockey references and how important the class struggle is between the Ducks aka the working-class District Five hockey team and their arch-rivals the Hawks, the “cake-eaters »
- Michael Ryan
4 items from 2012
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