• Movie Rants,  Old vs New

    Old vs New: Willy Wonka vs Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    When I was growing up in the 1970s, it seemed that three movies were replayed annually: The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Great Race (1965), and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). This was before pay-tv, streaming, digital channels, the internet, rentals, and, well, everything. We had four channels and that was it. Regardless of how often I’d seen these movies, I’d always tune in again, finding something magical in each. They all, in their own way, dealt with the fantastic, and two of them featured children as protagonists. As a kid, who didn’t want to believe in magic, wonder, and boundless possibilities? These are the sort of stories…

  • Life of the Mind

    The Premise of It All

    Before I can invest in any story, I need to buy into the premise. If I can’t buy into the premise, I’ll struggle to believe the story that unfolds. My brain will be on alert for realism, credibility and probability issues. I don’t want it to be. That’s just the way my brain works. You know? It thinks. Now this doesn’t mean the only stories I like are ones grounded in contemporary society or and/or issues. I love anything that tells a good story, no matter how fantastical. Just sell the premise to me and I’m in. An eccentric inventor builds a time machine into a DeLorean? No problem! Immortals…