Daily Archives: June 25, 2015

Throwback Thursday- A Kid In King Arthur’s Court (1995) & Black Knight (2001)

I think it’s pretty safe to say that a book is favorably viewed when it is adapted multiple times in new and different ways.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court was written by Mark Twain in 1889.  It has been adapted several times over the years.

The first of the two adaptations is A Kid In King Arthur’s Court (1995). Calvin Fuller (Thomas Ian Nicholas) has somehow found his way to Camelot. But this is not the idealized Camelot. King Arthur (Joss Ackland) is a widower with two daughters, the Princesses Sarah (Kate Winslet) and Katherine (Paloma Baeza). His confidence needs a major boost as he watches the scheming Lord Belasco (Art Malik) try to take the throne.

If you were a kid in the mid 1990’s, this movie was not that bad. But looking back, there are elements of this movie that as an adult, makes you question why you enjoyed the movie in the first place.

In 2001, a multicultural adaptation of the book, Black Knight was released. Jamal Walker (Martin Lawrence) works at an medieval times esque amusement  park. He thinks his job is a joke. Then he falls in the the moat and wakes up in 14th century England. Jamal only then realizes that he is not in Kansas anymore when he sees someone beheaded. King Leo (Kevin Conway) is the fraud on the throne. Sir Nolte (Tom Wilkinson) and Victoria (Marsha Thomason) are both working to return the rightful queen to the throne.  Can Jamal return to the 21st century and how can he overcome the forces of Sir Percival (Vincent Regan)?

This movie, well, it could be better. The major issues with this film is that not only has it been watered down , but in trying to reach a more diverse audience, the filmmakers just lost the magic that inhabits the original novel.

Do I recommend them? If your 10-14, then I recommend the first film. Otherwise, I do not. Do I recommend the second film? Not unless there is nothing (and i mean absolutely nothing) else to watch.

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Throwback Thursday- Television Edition-Lois & Clark (The New Adventures Of Superman)- (1993 to 1997)

Superman has been around since 1933.  Since the advent of television in the late 1940’s, he has been brought to the small screen several times.

In 1990’s, a different twist was put on the Superman myth. Lois and Clark (The New Adventures Of Superman) (1993-1997) focused not just on the big city life of Superman/Clark Kent. The writers of the show decided to put a rom-com, Moonlighting spin on the classic superhero fable by also putting the spotlight on Lois Lane.

In this series, the man who took off the tights and/or put on the glasses was Dean Cain. The woman behind the computer and the snazzy headlines was Teri Hatcher. Over four years, the will they/ won’t they, colleagues but could be more relationship kept viewers coming back week after week.

In terms of the myth of Superman, this show took the story in a whole new direction, which was nice change from the previous incarnations of Superman.

I recommend it.

 

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Throwback Thursday- Ghostbusters (1984)

Something strange in the neighborhood…..

Ghost stories have been around since the beginning of story telling. But sometimes the same old story gets old.

That’s where Ghostbusters (1984) comes in.

In New York City, four out of work college professors, whose focus was the occult, decide to use their skills to enter a new field: ghost busting. Using a former firehouse as their home base, Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Dr. Raymond Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), Dr. Egon Spengler (the late Harold Ramis) and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson) sell their services to the living who are haunted by the dead. When they discover a portal to the other world that opens the door to the ultimate evil, they must work together to save the city.

This movie is the classic that it is for a reason. On top of the occult/horror, the cast contains four of the best comedic actors in the business. And the theme song is just very cool and very catchy. After 31 years, this movie is as fresh and funny as it was back in 1984. To illustrate the movie’s lasting legacy, I give you Hoobastank singing the movie’s theme song.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday- Dreamgirls (2006)

The Supremes are one of the greatest girl groups of all time. Their songs are timeless. But behind the curtain, life was not so simple.

The Broadway musical, Dreamgirls is the fictional story of three young women who become the biggest music stars in the world and the behind the scenes drama that drives them apart. Premiering in 1981, the show became an instant classic. In 2006, Dreamgirls was made into a film starring Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Hudson.

Deena Jones (Beyonce), Effie White (Jennifer Hudson) and Lorrell Robinson (Anika Noni Rose) are three young women who are eager to turn their amateur success as a 1960’s girl group into professional success. Their ticket to success is Curtis Taylor Jr. (Jamie Foxx). But personal drama and internal strife may tear the girls apart as they see their dreams become reality.

The external image of Hollywood is the glamour and the fame. What I like about Dreamgirls is that it reveals not only the hard work that is required to be successful in Hollywood, but is also reveals the hypocrisy that permeates the entertainment industry. Keeping true to the original Broadway production, the cast is made almost entirely of African-American performers.

I recommend it.

 

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