Posts

"Stretching From Here To Pletcher"...a tribute to Steve Latham

Image
Today is a dark day.
If you’ve ever read any of my blog posts before then you’ve heard me tell the stories of my experiences in high school. I was bullied. I was bullied a lot. It’s something that has affected me my entire life. It has caused social anxiety issues that I deal with to this day. It’s not something that I like to remember, but it’s my history and it’s a part of who I am.
Granted, I was an awkward teenager. I didn’t play any sports. I wasn’t on the little league team. I didn’t even like watching sports...I still don’t. I don’t know enough about football to have an extended conversation about it. The stuff that I was into was a lot nerdier than that. I liked Star Trek. I liked reading science fiction and fantasy novels. I liked writing stories. I liked watching old black and white monster movies. I liked British sitcoms. Like I said…weird kid.
When I was a junior in high school I signed up to be a library aid for one class period a day. I figured I liked to be around book…

40 Movies For 40 Years: 1989

Image
1989 was the year that I turned 12 years old. I was getting to be the age where I was all in on films. I drove my mom crazy when I begged her to buy me some magazine at the grocery store that cost $4 just because the cover briefly mentioned a movie that I was excited about. We didn’t have 50 websites giving us up-to-the-minute details behind the scenes like we do now. We got our news in spurts. So, if there was a tiny mention of something we were into, we had to be on it.
It wasn’t plausible to get my mom to buy every magazine on the rack at Food World. So, many Saturday afternoons saw me at the local convenience store, sitting in the floor next to the magazines and comics, reading what I could until old Mr. Smith told me to go home.
This is probably the hardest installment that I’ve had to write since I started this project. There are so many movies from 1989 that I love. And unlike a lot of the ones that I’ve written so far where my favorite movie from a given year wasn’t discovere…

40 Movies For 40 Years: 1988

Image
So I fell a little behind.
I promised two installments a week until my birthday and now I’m way behind the 8-ball. What can I say? Life happened. It’s been a busy and stressful year for yours truly and those around me. I moved out of that old trailer that was too small for us 15 years ago and now we’re living in a house in Leeds. I even have my own space in the house. A game room/family movie room/office that I like to call the Geek Cave.
I finally finished up all the work that I needed to do for last semester and I’m getting ready to start taking another class over the summer.
Wasn’t there something I was supposed to be doing?
Holy crap! I’ve still got 30 years worth of films to get through in my blog project before July 4! Well, two installments a week isn’t going to cut it now. This blog is going to just about have to be daily for the next few weeks in order to catch up. Oh well…I think I’m up for a challenge.
The summer of 1988 was a milestone of a year for me. I finished element…

13 Reasons Why: A Parental Review

Image
As I walked by my daughter’s bedroom a couple of weeks ago I saw her staring intently at her phone. I could tell that she was enthralled in something and I figured she was catching up on some of her favorite shows.
“What are you watching?” I said, trying to be the dad that knows what his daughter is doing.
“It’s a new show on Netflix,” she replied. “It’s called 13 Reasons Why. Everybody at school is watching it.”
I thought nothing else about it. I very rarely condemn anything that my kids are watching unless I know that it is something extremely violent or raunchy. The title actually registered in my mind because I had seen the book on the shelf at the bookstore and online a few times. I knew it was a young adult title so I figured a Netflix show based on that should be alright. I mean, she’s seen The Hunger Games, right?
A couple of days later my wife tells me that she saw a few stories online about some kids that have committed suicide after watching the show. That sounds a little f…

40 Movies For 40 Years: 1987

Image
I have fallen a bit behind in posting to this project. So there may be a few articles posted this week in order to get caught up to schedule.
In 1987 I had been alive for a solid 10 years. I distinctly remember going to a barbecue on my birthday, as we usually did since it was also the 4th of July. I walked to the sitting area on my uncle’s deck overlooking the lake and announced to my grandparents that I was a decade old. It didn’t impress them that much, especially since by that point they had over 50 years on me.
The year that I turned 10 was a pretty big year at the movies. Leonard Nimoy was working his directing chops with Three Men And A Baby, Michael Douglas had a Fatal Attraction, and Mel Gibson and Danny Glover started a franchise that spanned four films with the original Lethal Weapon.
The movie that came out that year that had the biggest impact on me is kind of embarrassing to admit. I may have to turn in my cinephile card once I admit how big of a fan that I am of Ernest…

40 Movies For 40 Years: 1986

Image
1986 is a year that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Not because of any one particular movie that came out, but because of something that happened in the news.
When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut. I read every book that my library had about the space program, the planets in our solar system, the moon, NASA…you name it. So, when I was I the third grade and we got the news that a teacher was going to go into space and conduct classes for us on television I was thrilled.
That was the year that the Challenger exploded a few second after blast off. The entire crew died. The fact that we all saw it happen made it so much harder to deal with. It was an absolute defining moment in my life. It was the moment that I realized that not all the stories had a happy ending. I just wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that at the top of this entry. But this blog is about movies, and there were a few of them in 1986.
Sigourney Weaver was fighting Aliens, Ralph Macchio was back in The Karat…

40 Movies For 40 Years: 1985

Image
1985. There were a lot of good movies that came out that year. Stallone was back in two of them, Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV. Oprah had her acting debut in The Color Purple. And the world was learning that Goonies never say “die”.
It was the year that I turned 8 years old. I was in the third grade and I had developed a fascination with reading. I read every book that I could get my hands on. My town’s public library had become one of my favorite places, followed closely by my school library. And not only had I discovered a love of reading, I had discovered a love of science fiction.
One of my favorite books of that time was a “choose your own adventure” story. You would read the first couple of pages of the book and then it would give you a choice to make. The page that you read next would depend on what your choice was. It was great because you could go back over and over and make different decisions and have a whole new story. This particular story had to do with time t…