I am on vacation for 2 weeks and am very happy about that because ...well, I am off that's all, even though I am not going anywhere. I am seeing a friend of mine...social distancing in place and it will be nice to just relax. On a sad note, I followed a blog by Rick Watson who died suddenly last week after a short illness. He actually posted the night before saying he felt under the weather and would be going to the doctors the next day but he didn't make it. This was a shock to me because, even though I never met this man, he seemed genuine, very happy, an excellent writer and photographer, who loved his wife, Jilda, their home and dogs. I am unsure if he died of a heart attack or if he had Covid or just something else but, whatever the cause, he is no longer here and that is very sad. Sorry for being a downer but I wanted to talk just a bit about this gallant man. Now on to films and this week, Wandering Through The Shelves, chose Secret Doorways/Hidden Worlds. I, again, am skipping Alice in Wonderland because, I have not seen any others but the one with Johnny Depp and even though it is not horrid, I find there are others to talk about so, here are my 3...
1. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-1962
You thought I would pick the excellent 1925 version but I already spoke about that one so I decided to choose this little known remake with Herbert Lom in the leading role. We all know the Phantom lives in an underground lair in the sewers of gay Paris, right under the Paris Opera house. We know the Phantom is seen in shadows scaring the wits out of everyone and killing a few, but they probably deserved it. What you don't know is how much they humanised this Phantom making him out to be a true victim with Lord Ambrose being the real villain who stole the Phantom's work and saying it was his own. Oh and it no longer takes place in Paris but London but..a sewer is a sewer. You still have Christine with the beautiful voice and the man she falls for and vice versa but it does stray from the original. I still like this film for the variation on it and for Lom's performance.
2. HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE-2001
Any Harry Potter film would do but it all started with this first film (well it started with the books but we won't go there...) and how I loved that Harry went through a brick pillar at the train station only to come to another train station in another world that the humans, Muggles, have no idea exist. Poor Harry is sent to his Aunt's home, as a baby by Dumbledore and Maggie Smith, to protect the boy from the evil that killed his parents. Here Harry grows up being abused by his aunt and uncle and their ugly son because they actually fear him although he doesn't know that. After many, many tries, Harry finally gets an invite to go to Hogwarts school in the Wizard world and he finds out that he is a wizard and is famous as the boy who stopped the evil..that is a lot of Ands! (I never said I was good in grammar). He is befriends not only by Hagrid, who brings him to school, but by Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger fellow students who are not afraid of him and join him on his quest to find out more. This was the start of the long film series that seemed to get better and better. The children are excellent and grew up to be just as good as when they were kids( well, not sure what Rupert Grint is doing). I love this series.
3. NATIONAL TREASURE-2004
Ok this does star Nicholas Cage who I just want to slap, but it is still a very entertaining film that makes you think about what might lurk under our feet. He plays a treasure hunter who grew up with the tales of a secret treasure hidden by the founding fathers and now he is trying to locate the goods before his former partner, played by hubba hubba Sean Bean, gets his fingers on them. With his trusty sidekick, he meets a curator, played by Diane Kruger, who, at first thinks he is a nut(not far from the truth when thinking about Cage) only to realize he is telling the truth. They must outwit Mr. Bean (heehee) and get to the treasure and show that it actually exists just like the M & M guys, Santa and the Easter Bunny do. There were 2 more sequels but I like the first one the best.
Which 3 would you choose?
Who wouldn't love a secret doorway, I want to create one in my home and think that would be so cool. I love secret doorways.
First thought was Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), even though I thought the book was better, lol. Love the Harry Potter books and movies, never saw your Phantom pick, or National Treasure.ReplyDelete
Enjoy your vacation. I am on my permanent one.
I still have to see Narnia or read the books. You are lucky to be on a permanent one..I am enjoying being off.Delete
Yessum, a few days ago I learned about the death of Rick Watson on another blog. I remember Rick leaving comments on my old blog from time to time. I am very sorry to learn that he has died.
I wasn't even aware of a 1962 version of Phantom. As I watched the trailer I was immediately drawn to the excellent writing and the creepy, Vincent Pricey voice of the narrator. I always appreciate when we are shown a sympathetic side of a monster or villain. Based on this trailer and your review, I want to see this remake!
I take it you'd like to slap Nick Cage and bark, "Snap out of it!" :) I seem to like him more than you do. I haven't seen Nat'l Treasure, but I wouldn't mind because I enjoy Cage's screen presence.
The film in this category that immediately comes to my mind is the one I just watched yesterday entitled Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (2010). "A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend believes that she has released creatures from a sealed ash pit in the basement of her new home." Katie Holmes gets top billing, but it is Bailee Madison as the little girl who steals the show. Bailee is an extremely bright young woman and a wonderful actress. It bothers me that she has been cast in lightweight roles in Hallmark movies and horror flicks when she is the real deal and deserves more substantial roles. She's one to watch in the years to come.
Again I am sorry that you lost a good friend that you made through blogging. Enjoy your vacation, keep your distance and stay well, dear friend BB!
He was a great guy and it seems he was sick for a while but didn’t go right away. I wonder if he got COVID19. It doesn’t matter because, in the end, he is gone and his wife is feeling very lost and numb. You would like the Hammer film of Opera. Yeah, Cage was good in Moon struck but he went weird especially when he thought he was an action hero.Delete
Nice picks! I also chose a Harry Potter movie, but a different one. I haven't seen that version of Phantom. I realize now that i've only seen the 2004 version, and all the stage ones uploaded on youtube. lolReplyDelete
Any Harry Potter film will do actually. You should see the 1925 Verion as well as the 1943(?) version and then there is Phantom of Paradise from the 70s which I still have to see.Delete
I am sorry to hear about you blogging friend, Rick. It is hard to lose people we know- even if we have not met them in person. I had a blogging friend pass last year and I still feel the loss.ReplyDelete
Hope your much needed vacation is great. Lots of rest, relaxation, and distancing. :)
I love all the HP movies. Running through those bricks to another world- really is magic. I wish I could find that port/door!
It is very sad and unexpected. How I wish I could find that portal but I would just get a sore nogginDelete
That is very sad. Sounds like a heart attack if he went that fast.ReplyDelete
I'd say The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
From what I read he was sick for a bit so I wonder if he got the COVID19 but, in the end, it doesn’t matter because he is gone no matter what which is sad. I still have to see NarniaDelete
I didn't follow Rick's blog much but I was stunned to hear of his passing. Prayers for his family.ReplyDelete
The first movie I thought of, before I read your picks, was National Treasurer :)
Enjoy your vacation! Away from work is always a good thing!
It was and is sad. I enjoyed both National Treasure films. I am really enjoying my vacation.Delete
Even when we don't know people personally but they have some sort of engagement in our lives and then suddenly they aren't there anymore it's an abrupt shock especially when it involves a passing. But you have good memories of your back and forth on his blog and that's the thing to focus on.ReplyDelete
On to your choices....I LOVE Herbert Lom!! The Claude Rains Phantom remains my favorite, the Chaney one is brilliant too, but I enjoyed this take on the story.
This was my least favorite of all the HP films. I found it deadly dull and poorly directed but they improved as they went along. No fault of the cast and in BTW today is Daniel Radcliffe's birthday (he's 31 OY!). So how appropriate that his films are getting picked right and left. I chose one too.
I was skeptical about National Treasure when we went to see it in the theatre but it was a fun ride and I got a big kick out of Justin Bartha as Cage's sidekick. The sequel was rather disappointing but not a disaster.
I had a little trouble with this but did figure out three once I came up with my first.
Alice in Wonderland (1933)-Alice (Charlotte Henry) goes down the rabbit hole and tumbles into a crazy world where Cary Grant is the Mock Turtle, Gary Cooper the White Knight, W.C. Fields Humpty Dumpty, Edward Everett Horton the Mad Hatter and a raft of familiar but less famous performers other characters.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2 (2011)-The final two films in the Potter series and perhaps the best find Harry, Hermione and Ron battling Voldemort to destroy the Horcruxes.
Peter Pan (1953)-Animated Disney film where the magical boy Peter Pan and the faithful Tinkerbell whisk the Darling children off to the enchanted world of Neverland where they help him battle the wicked pirate Captain Hook.
You are right to always look at the bright side even when it becomes dark. Rick always said he was living the dream. I enjoyed both National Treasure films even though the first was better. Harry will be everywhere but it will be interesting which ones are chosen. I love the 1943 (43?) version which is almost always overlooked. I want to see that one again. I have to see the 1933 version yet. Love all Harry Potter and it is interesting how the films go from childlike to anything but later on. Is thatPeter Pan the animated one? I have no idea why but Peter Pan was one l never got into.Delete
Hi Birgit, sorry to hear of your blogging friend's death, its to be hoped he didn't suffer.ReplyDelete
Only known the Harry Potter Film.
Enjoy your holiday and catch up with your friend, Kate x x
He was a very nice man. Harry Potter will be popular today. I loved being with my friend and we were careful not to get closeDelete
Secret doorways were a childhood dream. I think in the Harry Potter series I would pick the second for this, as Nagini (the snake that was attacking everyone) had her secret lair...ReplyDelete
Sorry about the blogger. Death is always hard, even when it's expected. Unexpected... Yeah, those hit you hard.
They do hit hard and wish it wouldn't be but that is life. Harry Potter is a world we wish would exist-nasty spiders, snakes, bad potions and allDelete
Narnia seems a popular choice and was the first thing to occur to me too. I’m not sure how many they made in the series, at least three. I stopped at two - thought the first one wasn’t bad but the second one was boring. I reread the books at least once a year as a child - I would do that again rather than rewatch the film.ReplyDelete
I have yet to see the films or read the books. I know I would have loved reading them if I knew about them when I was a kid. One day i will read them.Delete
That's really sad about Rick Watson. I didn't know him but to post one day and then never again...that is sad. I like your doorway picks this week. Harry Potter is great. Enjoy your vacation.ReplyDelete
It is sad and I feel bad for his wife of 48 years. Harry Potter should be popularDelete
That's a sweet tribute you wrote for your friend, Birgit. It's nice to acknowledge the death of people who have affected us in some way, no matter how we met or for how long. Saying that, I have some writing to do. I'm going to look for that Lom version of the Phantom. I think of him as being the one bullied.ReplyDelete
Thank you...Yes we can be so affected by someone even if we never met the person. Glad to hear you are writing and hope you see this Lom version and yes, he is being bullied.Delete
How about Labyrinth, the Jim Henson film?ReplyDelete
OMG!! Smack my head! Brilliant choice.Delete
Another one I can't believe I didn't think of sooner, two really:Delete
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
I always think of that story as a book primarily - easily Top 5 all time for me. Both films are pale imitations.
Hi Birgit - thanks for the introduction to the 1925 Phantom ... I didn't know the history of the story. I can't add to your list or your commenters ...ReplyDelete
So sorry to read about Rick Watson's sudden death ... he'd obviously impressed you ... take care - Hilary
He did impress me very much. I have read the book and seen most of the films but not allDelete
So sorry to read about Rick Watson dying so suddenly. I wasn't aware of his blog, but since he and the content of his blog had such an impact on you, it was a very loving tribute.ReplyDelete
Believe it or not, I've actually seen National Treasure (when it was on TV), but haven't even heard of the first one. And I've also never seen a single Harry Potter film, even though TNT shows several of them at a time occasionally. As always, came to see and appreciate your synopses.
He was a very nice man who loved life in every way. Wow that you saw one picture but I thought you would have seen snippets of Harry Potter...you never know...Delete
Secret doorways/Hidden worlds?ReplyDelete
The Narnia stories would surely have to feature. Followed by the Harry Potter series, followed by The Never Ending Story. :)
p.s. sorry to hear about the death of your friend.
Narnia will be popular as well as Harry Potter but brilliant choice on the Neverending StoryDelete
I'm so sorry about the loss of a fellow blogger.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed National Treasurer:) It was a fun movie.
Stay safe. Be healthy.
National Treasure is a fun film for sure. You be safe and healthy tooDelete
That stinks about your blog friend. i guess we just never know.ReplyDelete
I would go with National treasure as well. Only been one sequel to it though so far.
It does stink and wish it didn't happen to such a nice man. National Treasure is fun and I am surprised there were not more sequelsDelete
Harry Potter has certainly had a long run.ReplyDelete
Hope you are rested and recovered from hostessing.