The Flaming Hot… 5 Reasons Why Tag

Thanks to Realweegiemidget Reviews for tagging me on this tag on Twitter! I absolutely ADORE talking Screen Crushes so I’m Totally doing this Tag! I can’t think of anyone to tag at the moment, so I’m gonna say anyone who reads this and wants to participate in it themselves is welcome to participate. Below are the Rules:

  1. You must add the name of the blog that tagged you AND those of the Thoughts All Sorts and Realweegiemidget Reviews with links to ALL these sites.. and use the natty cat themed picture promoting this post. This picture is found later in this post… 
  2. List 5 of your all-time swoon-worthy characters from TV or Film ie crushes/objects of your affection. And also do mention the actor or actress who plays them, as you might like James Bond as played by Timothy Dalton and no one else.. etc etc
  3. Link to 10 other bloggers.
  4. Add lovely pictures, gifs or videos of those you selected.
  5. If you don’t have a blog (or don’t have time to write a post) join in with your choices on Twitter with this #5TheFlamingHot5ReasonsWhy Tag and tag @realweegiemidge and @Thoughtsallsort  and the person who tagged you in your tweet.
  6. Oh…and post these rules.

Five of my Fictional 5 with the 5 reasons why:

1: George Bligh (Brett Climo) on the Australian TV show A Place to Call Home (2013-2018)

George Bligh is a country gentleman and owner of the Ash Park Estate, who just so happens to be a widower. His wife Elaine died as a civilian casualty of war when he was stationed in Darwin (It’s explained he was across the street from her when he saw her fall victim to Japanese bombing). George is the partirarch of his family with his mother, Elizabeth (Noni Hazlehurst), sister Carolyn (Sara Wiseman) and his two young adult children, James (David Berry) and Anna (Abby Earl). According to Anna, he’s been alone for too long. George has no interest in remarrying, until he meets nurse Sarah Adams (Marta Dusseldorp) on a ship coming home back to Australia from England.


1: George is an impeccable dresser! Suits, cardigans, robes, fedoras, you name it, George Bligh is a stylish man!

2: George is a total gentleman! George will drive anyone where they need to go, open doors for a lady, many of times will pay for neighbors’ medical expenses (often anonymously), invites guests to stay for dinner, and is open to change in both society and his own family dynamic, all while being true to his values and morals.

3: George is not-so-secretly a secret romantic at heart! On the onset, George may not seem to be a total romantic, due to his sense of duty and family, but underneath, his heart really rules his life. He wants to marry Sarah more than anything in the world, even if that means losing his family inheritance and being gossiped about for marrying a Jewish woman with a storied past. He really does wear his heart on his sleeve!

4: George is willing to see the best of people, even if this trait can be used against him. He always can see the good in someone, no matter what someone has went though in their past, he is supportive . This can get him into hot water when it comes to people who want to use him for personal, and /or financial gain, but if you’re a genuine person with legit intention, this trait works out for the best.

5: Brett Climo himself, I sense is just a total gentlemen in real life, and I know he was the perfect choice to play this character. From the looks of this article here, I instantly had total respect for him as a man… and I already had it for him as an actor!

2: Mr. Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) in the Bridget Jones Movies (2001, 2004, 2016)

Referring to the first movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001): Mark Darcy may look like a stuffy, somewhat uptight barrister on the outside, but on the inside, it may be because he is unlucky in love. His Japanese wife and he divorced and now he is being setup at a turkey curry buffet with Bridget Jones (Renee Zellweger) (who works in publishing). While Bridget and he are mutually not interested (at first), he silently doesn’t approve of who Bridget does end up going out with… none other than his rival from university, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), who is Bridget’s boss.



2: Mr. Darcy is a barrister, what a posh job! Brains and beauty!!! He takes his job seriously and it’s admirable.

3: Mr. Darcy is the most polite man! Even when he’s challenging Cleaver to a fight, he says it firmly… but politely!

4: Colin Firth just has a fantastic voice, a voice that is listenable to! Very listenable!

5: Mark Darcy loves Bridget Jones, just the way she is!

3: King Francis II (Toby Regbo) on Reign (2013-2017)

Prince Francis may start of by being uninterested in an arranged marriage to Mary (Stuart) Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane), but that soon changes when him and Mary come face to face again since childhood. He wants so badly not to be in love with her, yet his plan of staying professional political allies starts failing right away. However, allies and alliances shift, their parents may marry them off to other people at any moment. Francis and Mary must navigate their destinies of their nations.. and their hearts all while ruling their countries as King and Queen.


1: Toby Regbo!! I swear he is a young and upcoming British star. Reign was one of the first major projects he did. When I was 17, fall 2013, I wasn’t too thrilled in the promo pics (he was blonde on this project) but then I saw his acting and I totally fell for him! I loved his portrayal of this forgotten king from history!

2: Toby said it himself, Francis loves love! Francis was never one to hate people.. even his enemies at court. And when it comes to the love of his life, Mary, there’s a reason why they are such a beloved and fan favorite couple on the show!

3: Francis is King of France! The French Monarchy, although abolished, is a fascinating topic of history.

4: Francis and his half-brother Sebastian (Bash, played by Torrance Coombs, who is a fictional character for the show) have a great bro-mance on the show! It’s under utilized in season 3.

5: Francis’s character journey on the series!!! From being a Prince who wants to rule logically, to being ruled by his heart as King, its a real arc over the course of the show!!!

4: Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (2012-2015)

Detective Inspector Jack Robinson of the Melbourne constabulary is a veteran of the First World War. He’s returned to civilian life and is separated from his wife, almost divorced. His life is pretty ordinary until The Honourable Miss Phryne Fisher, Lady Detective (Essie Davis) waltzes into his life and changes everything about it- including his heart!


1: Nathan Page, ladies!!! A rare screen role for him, as he has shifted to theater and voice over work, seeing him on screen is such a delightful treat!

2: Jack Robinson is a sharp dressed man! Hair slicked back, always ready in a grey overcoat and hat- Jack is always got the right look for the occasion!

3: HIS VOICE! Nathan possesses one of the most intriguing voices on screen I have ever heard in my life. If he were acting 100 years ago, he would have no doubt made it successfully in talking movies.

4: His flirting with Miss Fisher! Jack is so guarded about flirting with Phryne that all his unintentional efforts not to flirt with Phryne end up being flirty!

5: An element of mystery! There is so much we still don’t know about Jack, and every bit of info we get as fans is super exciting. It’s only a small part of what keeps us glued to his character (and sadly while the tv show has ended, there is some super imaginative fan-non/ fan-fiction out there!).

5: Nick Charles (William Powell) in the Thin Man Movies (1934-1947)

Nick Charles is a happily married man who loves scotch, his dog, and living off his wonderful wife Nora’s (Myrna Loy) fortune. He has retired from detective work.. or so he thought! It all changes one day when he is hired to fina a man who disappeared, the Thin Man, Clyde Wynant.


1: It’s William Powell, who plays the coolest detective!!! He is so perfectly cast!

2: Nick Charles is a dog lover!!

3: Nick and Nora are the flirtiest married couple ever! Who says courtship stops at marriage!?

4: Nick has a detecting method all his own. He doesn’t copy anyone!

5: Nick has an amazing sense of humor! He jokes around in such an elegant way, there is sometimes a delayed reaction in realizing its a joke!

Well, that was actually more difficult than I thought! It’s one thing to list off some of your screen crushes, it raises it to a whole new level when you’re asked to explain why! It was a fun challenge that really begs the question, why do you like the guy you see on screen? Thanks so much Gil! I had so much fun!!!!!

Goldfinger: Car Chase

When it came to talking about Goldfinger, at this time I didn’t feel like dissecting the whole movie, something which will probably come at a later time, but with Movie Rob’s May Genre Grandeur, I thought it may be fun to just focus on the scene that is the theme: the car chase.

Directed by Guy Hamilton, Goldfinger was the fourth James Bond film, arriving on screens in 1964. It is perhaps one of the most popular Bond movies of the franchise, as it perfected the formula. It contains the gadgets, the Bond Girls, the villian, (Goldfinger!), and the iconic theme song by Shirley Bassey. But it also contains a famous scene with a famous vehicle: the often imitated but never quite copied car chase sequence. This Bond film has two: the chase in Swiss Alps, and also the night chase at Goldfinger’s factory.

I’ve seen some other famous car chase sequences in movies: Bullit (1968),  Sex and the Single Girl (1964), McQ (1974), but all are subpar for different reasons. The Bullit chase while famous in its own right, drags out for a super long amount of time, to the point it becomes tiresome and they needed to trim it down a bit. Sex and the Single Girl’s chase is basically a waste of screen time and misses the mark in terms of comedic effect, it’s effectively pointless and adds nothing to the movie. Meanwhile Duke’s McQ sequence is just a little embarrassing, as it’s an obvious attempt to keep up with the times, when in fact, when you’re John Wayne, all you need to be is yourself.

Contrast all of these with Goldfinger’s. In the swiss alps chase, it’s less about speed and adrenaline and more about is he gonna catch up with her? The way it’s set up, we want Bond to catch up with this girl, Tilly, and figure out what’s up with her. Add in the scenic views and a look at the gadgets on the Aston Martin, with spikes attached to the hub caps, and you’re just hooked on what happens.

Then with the night chase scene at Goldfinger’s factory, this where things get turned up to 11. This one just hits all the right marks in terms of pulling off the ultimate car chase. First off, you have a driver behind the wheel who can pull off the stunt. As much as I adore someone like William Powell, he doesn’t quite have that edginess needed to look badass behind the wheel. Sean Connery of course has that factor where you believe yeah, he could be in a car chase.

Secondly, you’ve got a freakin’ cool cool car. A generic run of the mill model is not going to look or sound awesome when doing a fast paced chase like the Aston Martin DB5 does, and that’s just a fact.

Furthermore, what this car chase does right is the timing. It has an equal balance of thrill, and suspense, yet at the same time it let’s the audience stop to catch its breath. It’s not so fast paced where you feel you are missing something, yet it doesn’t move too slowly where one becomes bored by watching it.

Overall, the car chase in Goldfinger has that timeless feel that when you watch it, you get invested in what’s about to happen: whether it’s the first time or the 30th time you’ve seen it. It’s gone on to be the template for many movies, from later Bond films to franchises like the Fast and Furious, and it’s just as exciting today, as it was in 1964. It will live for the rest of time as being THE Bond car scene, and when you’ve got the man, the car, and the chase, it’s easy to see why.

Discovering Hitchcock

Growing up, like most kids in the 90’s and 00’s, I knew basically nothing about Sir Alfred Hitchcock. I knew the “Psycho Strings” music, and that was the extent of it. As a kid, it never clicked with me that famous sound was actually from the movie Psycho and that Mr. Hitchcock directed the movie; and it remained that way for years to come.

The world of Hitchcock didn’t formally come to me until the year 2013 when I was 16 going on 17. Through a fashion page in a book I have, took a real liking to Grace Kelly that summer. Previously, I had sort of known a bit about her, but that summer I really took a deep dive about her life and movie career. So naturally, after reading so much about her, the next step was to watch her movies, and that lead me to Alfred Hitchcock.

Officially, the first ever Hitchcock I watched was Rear Window.  Honestly I had no idea the greatness that I actually was watching. I think I took for granted how spectacular it is because I was so young and naïve about the world of movies and Hitch’s filmography. Today, I do consider it to be my favorite, and think it was hysterical I just sort of didn’t know or really care to admit how legendary movie I was watching onscreen. Dial M for Murder soon became my follow up, and weirdly, I had a similar mindset: unable to realize the brilliance, thinking, “Oh that was good!“, without putting much thought into it. I saw Rear Window on the big screen at the Pick Wick Theater in 2017.

Amazingly, I also formally discovered Cary Grant around the same time as I did Grace. Learning that he too worked for this Hitchcock director, I thought it was really odd because Cary did comedy, not suspense thrillers! I recall it did take me a while to come around to it, but eventually I saw Suspicion. In watching Suspicion, that was really the moment in which I realized WOW Cary has a dark side, and Hitchcock was able to display that on screen. It was the first time I could grasp his significance as a director, and that feeling didnt stop there, as that fall, for senior year of high school, my Hitchcock education continued in and out of my film class.

It was fall 2013 I finally got to see Psycho. Now, granted I was watching it in segments in a high school English elective film class, but because I’m not a horror person to begin with, I still did find it scary!!

My teacher Mrs. Lauren Robinson could tell I was really getting into the movie too, and she’s actually the one who told me about Rebecca. Film was only a semester long class, she didn’t have time to play Rebecca, but told me, “Emily, I think you’d really love Rebecca. You should watch it on you own time”.
I was really intrigued by that statement and I told her, “Ok! I will“.

It took me until after high school graduation to watch it, and stupidly I never even emailed her saying I saw it, but Mrs. Robinson, if you ever find yourself reading this, I want to say, I love Rebecca! So much so, I consider it to be one of my top 3 favorite Hitchcock movies. Thank you so very much for your encouragement to watch it, because without it, it may have taken me longer to being open to watching it.

After Rebecca, I then just kept rolling with a watch list of Hitchcock movies. I saw North by Northwest, Notorious, To Catch a Thief (I got it for Christmas of 2013!) And my first British Hitchcock The 39 Steps (which I absolutely love!!!).

As time passes by, I’ve watched almost all of Hitch’s American movies, but can’t say I’ve seen them all, yet, nor can I say I’ve loved them all. I have yet to see Topaz, Under Capricorn, and Family Plot. I thought Torn Curtain was tough to get through, and I found it super boring. I did not find The Trouble with Harry to be at all funny. Lifeboat, while a highly fascinating concept, just wasn’t my cup of tea.

It’s always an ever evolving mindset with Hitchcock’s work, but I think that’s why I find his movies so enticing. People will be forever referencing and analyzing them because his work is fascinating. Tied with John Ford, he is my favorite director and I always say I can get away with that tie because Ford is American and Hitch is British.

Overall, I think despite a part of me that will always come back to my roots (Grace Kelly and Rear Window) when it comes to talking and discussing Hitchcock, I’ve come to be a legit fan of his work overall. It’s always fun to talk Hitchcock with other fans and get their opinions, hear their personal connections and stories. I find it entertaining when people have a completely different opinion than me, and then I try to see what they see. Sometimes I can’t agree, but it’s all in good fun. We are all amateurs, after all, as Hitch was the Master!!!

This post was written for the 2023 Master of Suspense Blogathon hosted by Classic film and TV Corner.

Gordon Ramsay: King of Food!

Honest to admit: I’m not a foodie. Food is not my life, as I’m on the, “eat to live“, side, (opposed to live to eat), and I certainly am not a dessert person, but for someone who says that, I do watch cooking shows because I love to watch Gordon Ramsay.

I was 8 1/2 years old in early 2005 when I first saw Gordon on the US version of Hell’s Kitchen. My mom thought it looked interesting, so I decided to watch with her. Watching Chef Ramsay, I had never seen anyone so angry in the kitchen, yet at the same time, I had never seen someone so understandably angry. Underneath all that frustration, was someone who was so caring and concerned about the food, the diners, and the chefs. It was also really hilarious to watch him, as he has a really wicked sense of humor.

After that, I believe the US version of Kitchen Nightmares started, and my mom of course was watching that. I was unaware of the show until it premiered on TV. In one episode, Chef sat down to say a quick prayer before he was to eat this terribly disgusting dish. I laughed so hard about it and remember asking my mother, “How does he not get food poisoning if he has to eat the gross meal?”
She laughed and said he doesn’t eat the whole meal, just tastes it to see what it’s like. I was really relieved by that, as I didn’t wanna see Chef Ramsay go to the hospital!

It was shortly after Kitchen Nightmares USA started I actually got a chance to watch the UK version, which at the time was airing in reruns on BBC America. Now it’s been years since I’ve seen this show, but one stand out moment I remember was an episode he confronted his own demons of dancing (as he explained the week was about conquering fear, he decided to also conquer his own). I also started watching his UK show The F-Word, which has a freakin’ cool intro and song. Sort of a food documentary show, I just found it entertaining to watch all these segments with food, diners, and most of all Mr. Ramsay’s personal life! It was such a riot!!!

It wasn’t until Masterchef USA however, that I really saw the complete other side of Chef Ramsay, that actually underneath he’s a real softie. I saw the real mentoring side of Chef Ramsay, and someone who was super encouraging to these home cooks, it made me see him as really down to earth. Masterchef JR was another step in this direction, as on that show it was not only super sweet to see him be silly with these kid home cooks, but also really bizarre to not hear him swearing!!!

Over the years, it’s just been guaranteed that if Chef Gordon Ramsay is hosting a TV show, I’m watching it. He’s had a plethora of them on the Fox network: Hotel Hell (a Kitchen Nightmares setup where he helps struggling hotels), 24 Hours to Hell and Back (a 24 hour condensed version of Kitchen Nightmares), The F-Word USA (a continuation of the style of the UK show), Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape and later his show Uncharted (on both shows, Chef goes to exotic places and learns new cooking skills from locals, making a meal to share with them at the end of the week), and Gordon Gino and Fred (teaming up with fellow chefs Fred Serieix and Gino D’Acampo, these guys are such a crazy bunch! I love it when they go on food adventures together! They filmed an episode in Scotland, and when it aired in America, I finally got to see Gordon in kilt!!! Only took about 17 years!). Chef’s latest show is Next Level Chef, a cooking competition in which cooks rise or fall a kitchen level based on their dishes.

At the time of this writing, the coolest thing is Chef Gordon Ramsay himself follows me on Twitter!  It’s awesome! I have not, yet, been to one of his restaurants, but I plan to change that fact in the near future. My mother has said numerous times over the years, she will try his Hell’s Kitchen Beef Wellington one day! Lucky for us a new Hell’s Kitchen is opening soon in Naperville, IL, and we plan on dining there!!

As for the TV shows, as long as Chef Ramsay continues to host shows, I will be watching them. Some people have a favorite news anchor or favorite home designer they can’t miss, but for me, I can’t miss Chef Ramsay on TV! 18 years of on screen viewing… here’s to another fun 18 years of watching his shows!!! 

THIS post written for the April 2023 Genre Grandeur hosted by Movie Rob!

H2O: Just Add Water

If you would have asked me in middle school what my favorite tv show was, easily hands down the answer would have been the Aussie tv show H2O: Just Add Water.

H2O: Just Add Water is a show about 3 different girls who live on the beaches of the Gold Coast. Emma Gilbert (Claire Holt), Cleo Sertori (Phoebe Tonkin), and Rikki Chadwick (Cariba Heine) (and later Bella Hartley (Indiana Evans)) are our heroines and together they navigate through normal teen life all while hiding their secret: they are mermaids with powers over water. Emma can freeze water, Cleo can shape water, and Rikki can boil water. No one execpt Cleo’s childhood friend (and love interest) science brainiac Lewis McCartney (Angus McLaren) knows about their secret and he helps them navigate everyday problems all while balancing it with mermaid adventures. The show ran from 2006 – 2010 with 3 seasons and 78 episodes.

When H2O premeired in the USA, it was March 2008. I was 11 1/2, and I believe I was the perfect age to get hooked on the show. H2O stood out from all the other teen shows I was watching because the show actually had a serialized storyline that was engaging. I made my own little scrapbook for the show (its gone now!), got the season 2 cd for my 12th birthday, and even had the dolls (they went to goodwill!).

Season 1 is certianly the best, as it had the most stakes and was organic for the story they were telling. With the transformation into mermaids needing to be kept secret, the biggest storyline is the fear of exposure, and the antagonist is a scientist, Dr Denman, who would exploit the girls for fame and money. The season also sees the best character journey of, “bad boy”, Zane Bennett (Burgess Aberthany) from rich snobby jerk, to being more caring and sensitive… especially after he almost drowns in a shipwreck (only to be saved by Emma, but after he catches a glimpse of a “sea monster”) and has a relationship with Rikki (ZIKKI IS MY FAVORITE relationship of the entire show!). Season 1 also has the best mythology backstory building, concerning the dynamics of how the girls powers work. 

Season 2 is pretty good, with the introduction of the infamous Charlotte Watsford (Brittney Byrnes) who becomes a third point in a love triangle with Lewis and Cleo. It’s kind of painful, as their relationship takes up some screentime that was dedicated to the girls friendship in season 1, but its really engaging and keeps you watching and asking when Cleo and Lewis will get back together. Season 2 also continues the myth building with Mako Island and the girls powers, as their powers change to also control weather. The biggest plot of the season is Charlotte becoming a mermaid and the girls having to accept her in their group, while she’s a bully to Cleo and alienating Lewis from having contact with her (and the rest of the girls). Season 2 is still enjoyable and it really strengthens the friendships and ups the ante on everything: the danger, the romance, the fun. I remember bootlegging episodes 14-26 on YouTube because they failed to play on Nickelodeon in America, and I was insanely upset about it. Nothing was going to keep me from this show!

Season 3 is honestly my least favorite. At the time of release, in 2009-2010, in the UK (it aired there first before Australia), I was one of the bootleg viewers. I would get home from 8th grade, and a recording of the new episode would be uploaded. I recall I had to be quick about it because they would be deleted for copyright claims, so that was always a problem. Nonetheless, I made sure exactly right when the videos were uploaded I was at the computer screen.
What I hate about season 3 is the whole friendship dynamic changes. Claire Holt left the cast due to a scheduling conflict being replaced by Bella, a new girl who moves to town with her never seen on screen family (I’m team Emma over Bella!).  Angus McLaren has reduced episodes and left the main cast, and Lewis was “replaced” by Will (Luke Mitchell), who in comparison is a dull character. The friendship of the 3 girls just doesn’t gel properly and it’s basically the case of, “Oh Bella! You’re a mermaid too, we must be friends!”.
The show also starts chasing some trends of other teen shows around this time: Bella has her own band and sings! Will takes of his shirt a ton! Zane now owns the local cafe (no boss to answer to) and calls it Rikki’s!

Add in Zane’s character just completely reverting back to being a total jerk due to lazy writing and it just sucks. Not to mention the overall plot of the water tentacle being the enemy and the payoff completely not following what they set up, this season is a frustrating watch. There are some highlights however: as Cleo and Lewis (Clewis!) are so adorable (until they write him out) this season, and Rikki has some strong emotional  development.

I’m no ordinary girl

Overall, H2O will always be that special show in my heart. It’s the only show from my childhood preteen years I genuinely still care about, and do not regret watching. I may have come to it only because mermaids are my favorite mythological creature, but in the end, this is what got me open to Australian TV. It planted the seeds for me to watch Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, A Place to Call Home, Dance Academy and for that I’m really grateful.

This post was written for the March 2023 Genre Grandeur of beaches hosted by MovieRob.

Full House: Dr. Dare Rides Again

One of my all time favorite TV shows ever made is the sitcom Full House. Considering this year, 2023, is my 20th anniversary of being a fan I thought it would be super fun to honor one of my top 10 favorite episodes from the show for the 2023 TV blogathon hosted by A Shroud of Thoughts. Click here to check out the other entries!

I first started to watch Full House at the end of first grade and into second grade, in 2003. I was roughly about 6 1/2 to 7 years old. I believe one of the first episodes I ever saw was the season 2 season premiere Tanner v. Gibbler at a sleepover at a friend’s house. My friend, Shannon, had an older sister, and she always chose what we watched on TV, and she chose to watch Full House that night on Nick @ Nite.

Over the years, my friendship with Shannon drifted, as we simply grew apart as we were at different schools, but what I kept doing was watching Full House on my own. I wanted to keep watching the show with all these fun characters, and awesome concerts in the living room! This eventually led to me getting all the seasons on DVD as they were being released, for instance, I got season 5 for my good report card!

Over the years, I’ve seen every episode numerous times, as I still rely on Full House to be a comfort show. I did not grow up with the show, per say (as Uncle Jesse would say!), as the show aired from 1987-1995, and I was born in 1996, but I feel that I can still say the show is deeply rooted in my childhood. Watching it on Nick @ Nite every night with commercials and waiting for the show to come on TV, was as if I watching it first run. It would be really difficult to explain what exactly is my all time favorite episode (I know in third grade it was The Wedding episode from season 4, but answers change), but I can tell you I have a favorite character: which is: John Stamos as Uncle Jesse Katsopolis. Jesse has the most growth throughout the show’s run and transforms from an Uncle and Brother in law rock n’ roll bachelor, to a rock n’ roll responsible husband and father. One of the best episodes that helps highlight this transition was in season 3, episode 9 (overall episode 53 of 192) called Dr. Dare Rides Again. Airing for the first time on November 24, 1989, I can positively say it’s on my top 10 list of favorite episodes of the whole show.

Dr. Dare Rides Again is Full House at its best. The show is on the edge of the ’80s, and its not going into 1990 without one old fashioned reminder of what the 1980’s was all about: GOOD TIME FUN!

The episode revolves around the concept of Jesse believing he’s become to soft and has lost some of his edge when his high school buddy Pete Bianco comes for a visit. Guest starring as Pete is Happy Days icon Scott Baio. Personally, I’m unsure if this was a fun choice at the time of airing, but going on the fact I’ve been watching the episode for 20 years (and that the episode itself is almost 35 years old), I always thought John and Scott really sold the part of being old friends.

It only takes about 2 minutes after Pete arrives for him to dare Jesse to keep up with him for 2 days, and bring back the fun times they shared when Jesse was “Dr. Dare“. This dare gets really easy to do when Danny (along with Becky) leaves for a work conference that takes him out of the house and out of town. Enter the Full House classic: Uncle Jesse concert in the living room!

This concert in the living room performed by one of Jesse’s old bands Feedback, on a reunion bill, is probably my all time favorite on the series. It has Jesse on lead guitar, Pete on bass, a key-tarist, and Joey playing the baseball bat! They perform Shout! and even go into Elvis’s Mean Woman Blues. (EDIT: I always thought Mr. Stamos was having the time of his life in this scene, and LOVE the fact he incorporates music into his projects he does! AND: THE HAIR)

Of course this wouldn’t be Full House without some discipline, and YES- Jesse and the girls get reprimanded when Danny walks back into the house. The timeless Danny Tanner, “you know better than this“, look, as only the late Mr. Bob Saget (RIP! 😥 ) could do. It’s at this moment he also addresses the episode’s side plot of Stephanie being too loose with family dog Comet (like letting him sit at the table and sleep in her bed).

As Jesse prepares to quiet down the concert, Pete brings out a tape from their past, from 1983, when Jesse was 20 and he rode his motorcycle on the edge of a 6 story building. The tipping point comes at Pete’s comment of Jesse turning into Dr. Seuss, and soon, the gang finds themselves back at the same 6 story ledge.

As you can guess, once on the ledge Jesse decides NOT to do the dare (perhaps a more dangerous dare is kissing his old girlfriend Donna, in front of his current girlfriend Becky??), rightfully so, but still can’t let go of the youth he one had. Enter the other Full House classic: talking out your feelings. DJ comes down stairs at this moment and tells her Uncle she’s glad he didn’t do the stunt. Jesse confides he has matured and become wiser, but still misses his youth; with DJ adding in she likes her uncle now just the way he is, with him insisting on a compromise: he’s Uncle Dr. Dare.

The final moments of this episode are what makes me just love Jesse overall: once DJ has gone upstairs and is out of sight, he turns on the amp and jams, YEAH, HE’S NEVER LOST IT!!! The same applies to John Stamos himself, he’ll always have it; he had it on General Hospital, and he’s got it now, at nearly 60! Still plays occasionally with the Beach Boys (when his schedule allows) and continues to entertain us on stage and screen.

Dr. Dare Rides Again, overall, is just a special episode to me. In my view, it represents that yes, one does become older, wiser, but in the end, you never have to give up the traits that make you, you. One can hang onto the fun elements of their life and be cool, fun, and edgy, but just in a more mature and responsible way.

The Mirror Crack’d (1980)


What drew me to 1980’s The Mirror Crack’d was not the fact it was Dame Agatha Christie or the fact it was Miss Marple. I admit, I’m not really into the Miss Marple stuff, as I am more familiar with Poirot. What got me hooked onto this story were a combination of the following: 1) The meta of the movie within the movie which is about Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I. I am a Tudor and Stuart fan- I love anything regarding it! 2) This movie is somewhat based on the real life situation regarding one of my favorite actresses Gene Tierney: She contracted German Measles while pregnant and when her daughter Daria was born, she had many birth defects. 3) The all star cast, and a reminder that this is a movie that is sort of the last of its kind. Very rarely now do you get all star casts, and to keep in mind this was 1980, its on the tail end of the era.

Based on the 1962 novel The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side, the plot of this murder mystery goes as follows: In 1953, in the English village of St Mary Mead, a major Hollywood movie about Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I is being shot on location. Portraying these two legends are two famous Hollywood actors: Marina Ludd (Dame Elizabeth Taylor) and Lola Brewster (the fabulous Kim Novak), who happen to be old rivals. Despite their husbands’ best efforts to keep the ladies in line, as they are both working on the movie too- Marina’s husband Jason (Rock Hudson) is directing and Lola’s husband Marty Fenn (Tony Curtis) is a producer- tensions run high.

The time for old grievances, however is short lived, when they must go to a Gossington Hall for a press conference. It’s here Marina comes face to face with someone from her past: Heather Babcock (Maureen Bennett), a fan whom of which she met during the war years at a Hollywood Canteen. Heather then tells a somewhat long winded story of sneaking out of quarantine for German measles to meet her favorite movie star, and shortly after, accidentally drinks a poisoned cocktail, intended for Marina. Marina isn’t shocked she was the intended victim, as she has been receiving death threats in the newspapers and has already survived a poison attempt while on set.

When the police arrive on the scene, Inspector Dermot Craddock (Edward Fox) is so in shock , that he asks his aunt, Miss Marple (Dame Angela Lansbury) to help assist with the case. It seems like a straightforward murder investigation, but in true Agatha Christie style, things take a twist when the main suspect dies, and then Marina dies.

While the role of Marina was based on Gene Tierney and her situation while she was pregnant with her daughter Daria, Marina’s rivalry with Lola reminded me of the famous Bette Davis- Joan Crawford feud. Its also cool movie stars are playing fictional movie stars. Its super fun to believe Marina is a diva because she’s played by legendary diva, Elizabeth Taylor, and same for Lola, as she’s portrayed by Kim Novak! If two unknowns or young actresses were used for these characters, I don’t think the movie would have been as well regarded as it is.

What makes The Mirror Crack’d stand out from other Agatha Christie adaptions is that its just campy fun. The back and forth cattiness, the over the top acting, the English setting, the murder mystery plot, and Miss Marple into the mix, this movie feels like a fun blend of all these elements. At first I was a bit turned off by the campy elements going into it, but then as I started watching, it just adds to the charm of it all.

It’s also noteworthy to keep in mind this movie was made at an interesting time, for Hollywood and the actors involved. It was Ms. Talyor’s last starring role in a movie, and much like her character Marina, her first role in a long while. Kim Novak also came back to the big screen, after being away for a spell, and by this time was being selective about the roles she chose. I think Kim was right to accept this part because I think she was marvelous in the part. To see her go head to head with another Hollywood legend, and to see her play catty, rather than the girl next door was so captivating. Ms. Novak herself has said of the picture: “I never had so much fun making a movie. It may not be my greatest role, but I didn’t have a studio executive breathing down my neck, dictating my every move”.

I disagree with it not being a good part, but from the energy on set, I’m so glad she had tons of fun!

All in all, The Mirror Crack’d is absolutely under rated Agatha Christie. It may not be a legendary known story from the author, but it’s just as enthralling, thrilling and will keep you guessing. The cast is also a blast to watch- hint- lookout for a cameo by future James Bond Pierce Brosnan OBE- and it’s a great start to doing a deeper dive into the Christie Movie world.

THIS POST is for the 2023 Kim Novak 90th Birthday Blogathon hosted by The Classic Movie Muse.

Christmas Scavenger Hunt (2019) So Bad, Its Good

Every now and again, I  enjoy watching a Hallmark movie. I admit, I have high standards for these: the lead actors have to be people I know from other works, and the plot has to be decent, or else I won’t tune in. Usually 2-3 a year will look intriguing, and I’ll put them on the DVR. Sometimes I come away from them thinking it was a sweet little movie, and sometimes, I’ll come away believing that was a total waste of time. The ones that are a total waste of time do teach me something, which is: how to spot something that actually is worth watching.

In 2019, one of the network’s Christmas movies premiered called Christmas Scavenger Hunt. Starring Kevin McGarry and Kim Shaw, this one is mainly carried by the leads, as if two other random actors were in it, it would get lost in the never ending shuffle of made for TV Christmas movies.

The plot is not anything new, but the story is sweet and comforting, which is as follows: Belinda, a big city girl, comes home to her small town of Deerfield, to see her Dad. Through participating in the annual town Christmas scavenger hunt, she reunites with her old high school boyfriend, Dustin.

Kevin McGarry as Dustin, who after high school, has become the town’s right hand fix-it man and a staple in preserving the local history. Kim Shaw plays Belinda, who comes back home on a job assignment to close a sale on the Old Mill, and also to see her Dad (who lives alone since her mom died). Conflict arises when Dustin is working to save the Old Mill, while Belinda is trying to buy the mill for a work assignment that could earn her a promotion. Add in a very obvious throw away big city boyfriend on Belinda’s end- and you’ve got a very solid Hallmark-y Christmas movie.

The main component of this TV movie that makes it work is seeing Kevin McGarry be sassy. His character, Nathan on When Calls the Heart is not exactly the funniest character, and Kevin has such a wide acting range, its so awesome to see him play someone who’s daring and bold. Dustin’s quick quip: “Oh, Hey partner!“, when being paired up with Belinda in the scavenger hunt is insanely funny and cheeky. He also has the chance to throw Belinda some smirks any time she mentions something from their high school days, which is really charming. It makes me really enjoy Kevin’s acting, as he is not my favorite Hallmark leading actor (I’m sorry!). The chemistry is also evident between the two leads, a step up from most of these movies, as Kevin and Kim previously played opposite each other on an episode of the Canadian TV show Saving Hope.

There are some elements that make this movie cringe inducing. For instance, Kim sometimes just says her lines in a very baby-ish tone that makes you question why she’s saying the lines that way. Also, it’s super obvious Tom Arnold, who plays the Dad, had a cold while filming, which dates this film waayy back to 2019, in a pre-covid world. Furthermore, don’t forget this is Hallmark Channel after all so there are some weird logistical plot choices: such as calling in favors to the US Army for Christmas homecomings, or the fact the scavenger hunt winners will be determined not on speed, but by performance. That plot point puzzles me because some of the tasks are taking a selfie with Santa, or donating toys for children, how does one perform badly at something of that stature?

At the end of it all, I think what makes me re-watch this movie once a year around Christmastime, is it is comforting in the sense of coming home, and old love re-ignited for a second chance. I think its really sweet when fate gives you a second chance with someone, and its kind of like a dream scenario! Kevin and Kim play off each other impeccably well, and there’s a very familiar sense where you believe these two do know each other and want to get back together. It’s a relaxing watch and I’ll even throw in some bonus points for watching Kevin McGarry sing a few lines of “12 Days of Christmas”. Certainly one of the sweeter, worth watching Hallmark movies, however cliche it actually is!

This post is for the 5th annual So Bad, its Good Blogathon hosted by Taking up Room

Defending Part of The Godfather Part 3

This post was written for MovieRob’s February 2023 Genre Grandeur of Movies set in Italy. Thanks so very much Rob for allowing me to choose this month’s theme!

Warning: This post contains spoilers regarding The Godfather Part III and the re-cut of the 2020 Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

When it comes to The Godfather Trilogy, most people would count the first two movies in a class by themselves. Both the first and second parts won Best Picture at the Oscars, and have gone on to set a new standard for storytelling. However when it comes to Part III, it often is tolerated, ignored, or seen as an all out mistake in film making, being the antithesis of what a movie installment should look like. Francis Ford Coppola himself wasn’t even satisfied with Part III, and in 2020 re-cut the movie, giving it its original title he wanted to give it in 1990: The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.

While it’s easy to admit Part III has some serious issues, it should not be discounted as a mistake, as it really does draw a conclusion to the story of Michael Corleone and his time as The Godfather. Truthfully, I personally cannot defend all elements of the Godfather Part III, what I will do is point out the positives of the story, as well as discussing what could have been fixed to create a stronger film.

First up, there are the strengths of this movie that work naturally well with the narrative. What Francis Ford Coppola did with Part III is focus the narrative back on the roots of the story: the family. The entire intrigue of The Godfather has always been the characters. The viewer cares about the Corlene family and how Michael (Al Pacino) has changed as a person in regards to being The Godfather. While the mafia brings a fascinating angle to the family unit, it’s ultimately Michael’s choices and the balancing act of being a Don versus being the head of his family that the audience really cares about. Part III doesn’t really have many ‘dealing’ or ‘business’ scenes, as it’s all centered on the family unit and the transition point of Michael’s decline and transfer of power to Vincent (Andy Garcia).

Moreover, Part III also brings the saga full circle as some outsiders are brought into the main narrative. In Part I, Michael was the outsider, and in this movie we see characters Kay (Diane Keaton), her and Michael’s children Anthony and Mary (played by the last minute replace Sophia Coppola), Connie (Talia Shire) and illegitimate nephew Vincent, become directly impacted by Michael’s choices. They all play heavily into Part III’s narrative, and are not the “normal” people who would be pulled into the business’s affairs. While Anthony refuses to become his father’s successor, Vincent does, with Connie playing a major role in final decisions. Mary and Kay while admittedly don’t participate in the business, they are subsequently pulled in due to Michael’s choices and they face the consequences.

Lastly, the fact a majority of this movie’s setting is in Italy (well Sicily, and YES there is a legit difference, my great grandma would attest to this!), really hones in the whole experience of the ancestry and the backstory. The landscape of Palermo, especially towards the end, heightens the emotion of the whole story knowing they are all in this sacred land.

On the other side of it, Part III has some legit problems regarding its plot. It’s no secret the Vincent and Mary romance plot is BAD and creepy. Vincent may be an illegitimate son of Sonny’s, but his dad and Michael are brothers. Mary and Vincent are still first cousins any way you slice it. It’s understandable the writers were going for the whole, “forbidden love angle”, but it’s just creepy, for a modern day narrative set in modern day. One could argue literature and real life is peppered with cousin romance but usually it’s set in far away, long ago times, and it’s almost never first cousins, as the most common relation is usually distant.

The other element weighing down this installment is of course some of the cast – or lack of cast. Tom Hagen’s absence hurts the narrative. We all know the behind the scenes pay dispute between Robert Duvall and the Paramount executives, and why he chose not to participate, yet it still makes the story weaker. The substitute of the B.J. Harrison (George Hamilton) character not playing a major role is just a reminder of what could have been.

Then there’s Sophia Coppola. While her acting may have been somewhat cringe-worthy bad, and she got the role in part due to nepotism, I think it’s harsh to say she was the entire problem with the movie. The part of Mary was that of a naive young girl, and that’s the way she played the character. Her reactions were awful, but I think she grasped the essence of who the character was.

Finally, let’s discuss the ending: the original and the Coda version and why actually a blend of both is actually the best. In the original ending we visually see Michael die: he slumps over in his chair. In the coda, there is no physical death, as he puts on his glasses and miserably sits alone in the courtyard. I actually prefer the final shot of the Coda, as Michael having a spiritual death alongside his daughter outside the opera house is a fitting conclusion to his character. Being doomed to spend the rest of his life alone with no one, anticipating death is a much harsher fate.

But what the original ending has that the Coda cuts out is the flashback sequence of Michael dancing with the women in his life: Mary, Antonia, and finally Kay. If I were to recut the ending, I would keep this dancing flashback montage, then end it right where Coppola did in the Coda, and that’s what I believe to be the strongest ending. The montage added to the emotion, and then to see Michael sit and cope with how he lost all THREE of them, would be the ultimate powerful ending.

All in all, The Godfather Part III is flawed, but it’s not completely disposable. It contains a great ending for one of the most beloved movie characters of all time. To see Michael’s success as a Don come at the expense of his family is enthralling and amazing, and it all unfolds in Part III. Watch the 1990 version or even the Coda, but don’t cheat yourself out of the full ending. Sure it may be a little messy, but much like Michael Corleone himself, it’s an iconic one! 

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

This entry is written for the December 2022 Genre Grandeur of Santa Claus in movies hosted by MovieRob.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964) for me is probably my all time favorite Christmas special (different from movies, right?!). I can’t tell you exactly the first time I ever saw it, all I know is I can’t ever remember a Christmas in which I didn’t watch it. Every year no matter what I have to make sure I watch it, along with A Christmas Story (1983) (which is on my top Chirstmas movies of all time list).

Rudolph is the first Christmas feature from the Rankin/Bass studio (which was known as Videocraft International Ltd. at the time of release), and it set the precedent for the specials that would follow including 1969’s Frosty the Snowman and 1970’s Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.

For me and for a majority of the people watching, the “animagic” style is probably what caught our eye as kids. The unique movements of the puppets (who are actually made out of wood, not clay) was just so magical to watch, and its not something that ever wears off. Secondly, the characters whom of which we think we know, but not really know, because they are all given depth to their cliche Christmas personalities.

Sam the Snowman (Burl Ives) moving through the snow at the beginning of the special immediately captivates you, and you just find him to be a cool character. Santa cutting a skinny figure at the start was a bizarre image, yet you wanted to find out more about how he gets to be the fat man we all know. Hermey, an eccentric but lovable elf does not enjoy making toys, and you want to discover what he actually does want to do (by the way, any Beach Boys fans out there thinking Al Jardine was an inspiration for Hermey?). And of course our hero Rudolph, who shows us being a misfit isn’t a negative, rather it makes you stand out in a positive way.

Hermey quitting elf duties, or Al Jardine quitting the Beach Boys?

For my Mom personally, her all time favorite moment that will bring her to tears every single time she sees it is the moment Santa asks Rudolph to guide his sleigh. Christmas season 2022, I watched with her, and when the scene played I looked over and saw her tearing up, but it’s always in the most sentimental and sweetest way. She says it just brings her back to being a kid, and that magic of Christmas- I can’t disagree with her!

A number of years back, Build-a-Bear toys had the Rudolph and Clarisse plushes for sale along with extras, they sold: Hermy, Ykon, the spotted elephant, Charlie in the box, the Dolly for Sue. For Christmas my dad, sister, and I picked them all up for my Mom and she puts them out every year. A couple years later, Build- a-Bear released the Bumble plush and we also picked that up for my Mother because, simply she needed the whole collection!

As I type this review, Christmas has passed, but the next Christmastime is always around the corner, and Christmas in July is even sooner than we think! No matter though, I can guarantee you Rudolph will be on my Christmas watch list.