Category Archives: Entertainment

The Bizarre Hollywood Phenomenon of “Twin Films”

filming

Yachna N. asks: Why do movie studios release near identical movies at the same time? “Twin films” is the term used to describe a peculiar Hollywood phenomenon that just about every year sees different major studios releasing movies with almost identical plots and themes to their competitors current offerings. Popular examples of twin films include Deep Impact and Armageddon, two […]

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The First Horror Movie

LeManoirdiable

The world’s first horror movie begins with a bat flying into a castle then magically turning into a caped demon figure known as Mephistopheles. It ends with Mephistopheles being chased out by someone holding a crucifix. Okay, the Shining or Exorcist, it is not. But this 1896 film entitled Le Manoir du Diable (or “The Haunted Castle”) directed by legendary […]

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What was Up with David Bowie’s Left Eye?

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Andy D. asks: What was up with David Bowie’s eye? Did he wear contacts or something to make it like that or have some sort of medical condition? David Bowie was a man who reinvented himself countless times throughout his roughly half-century long career; one thing that remained constant about Bowie’s appearance, though, were his eyes. For anyone who doesn’t […]

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From Oswald the Rabbit to Mickey Mouse

mickey mouse

On September 4th, 1927, a jolly goofy animated bunny named “Oswald the Lucky Rabbit” made his silver screen debut. In the five minute and forty-six second short entitled “Trolley Troubles,” the earnest conductor drives his trolley full of rabbits through (and under) a variety of obstacles – including a stubborn cow, a seemingly insurmountable hill and a panic-inducing brake failure. […]

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Behind the Hits: Soundtrack Cuts

grammy

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Movie soundtracks have long generated popular songs, from “Stayin’ Alive” to “Whistle While You Work,” to “Goldfinger” and hundreds more. Here are the origins of a few more soundtrack hits. Movie: Titanic Song: “My Heart Will Go On” Story: While making his $200-million movie in the mid-1990s, director James Cameron […]

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How They Cobbled Together The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers From Footage of a Completely Different Japanese TV Show

power rangers

The Power Rangers are a cultural juggernaut that have been a staple of kid’s entertainment for over two decades now- an impressive feat considering the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series was literally cobbled together from snippets from a popular Japanese series called Super Sentai, more specifically the 16th series of Super Sentai, known in Japan as Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger. […]

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Forgotten History: The First Movie and the Scientific Question It Sought to Answer

The first films were little more than what we would consider short clips, a boxer throwing a single punch or train arriving at a station– the type of scenes that today you might only see in the form of animated gifs.  While popular perception is that movies got their start around the early twentieth century, the real seed that grew […]

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What’s a MacGuffin in Films and Why is It Called That?

Hitchcock

Shih C. asks: Why are McGuffin’s in films called that? In the last scene of the 1941 film classic, The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade (played by Humphrey Bogart) hands over a murderer (played by Mary Astor) and a black falcon statuette to authorities. When asked what the statuette was exactly, Spade looks off in the distance and rather unsatisfactorily explains, […]

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Making Science Cool Since 1974

nova

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader When PBS executives started planning a new science show in the early 1970s, people in the TV business were baffled. A show about…science? Were they crazy? Audiences wanted Happy Days and M*A*S*H*, not educational shows! Luckily for us, they were wrong. IN THE BEGINNING… In 1971 an American television producer […]

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Stuart Little and the Missing Masterpiece

sleeping-lady-stuart-little

The following is an article from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader It’s a good bet that after you read this article, you’ll start paying more attention to background props in movies. A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE It was Christmas Eve 2009. Gergely Barki, an art historian and researcher with the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest, had settled in with his daughter Lola to […]

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