Facts Movies & TV Series

Random Facts About Sirius Black

If you love Harry Potter, you are probably interested in learning more random facts about Sirius Black. In this article, you will discover the history behind Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, Animagus, and Sirius Black. Find out what each character is like, and how they are related to one another. Then, you will enjoy learning about Sirius Black’s character as a child. There is more to Sirius than you think.

Harry Potter

If you are a fan of Harry Potter, you may want to know some random facts about Sirius Black, the popular wizarding boy. His name is well known, but did you know there are other interesting things about him? Read on to find out. In the book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” Sirius was best man. He was arrested at a young age and was released in a state of arrested development. While in prison, he was able to learn how to cast spells.

Despite his mysterious past, Black was also known as a godfather to Harry Potter. He even had a pet wolf. This pet was named Sirius, and was able to keep its hounds away from Harry and the rest of the Hogwarts. This is important, because Sirius was saved by his godfather, and he would not have survived without his father’s help. However, Sirius was also saved by his friends, including Kingsley Shacklebolt, Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, and Alastor Moody. In the film, Black is the hero of the Death Chamber, where he battles against the Death Eaters and tries to save Harry. In the movie, Sirius and Harry fight the unknown Death Eater Antonin Dolohov.

Sirius Black’s name was a muddled oxymoron. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, and black is the darkest colour. The name was given to him by his father, Phineas Nigellus Black, a former headmaster of Hogwarts. Although this may seem trivial, it’s important to remember that Sirius was once an actual person who met the Death Eater. In his later years, Sirius was forced into the Azkaban for his crimes.

Sirius black

We’ve all heard about Harry Potter, but do you know that Sirius Black was once a fugitive? The aspiring wizard was bullied by Severus Snape as a youngster and held a grudge against him. His house-elf Kreacher was not treated with much respect either. He was a reckless and self-centered boy who put himself before everyone else. Yet despite being a rebellious and self-centered boy, Sirius still cared about his brothers and devotedly fought for Harry and James Potter.

One of the more interesting random facts about Sirius is that his mother passed away in 1985. When Sirius first arrived in Hogwarts, his mother left him and his Black house-elf Kreacher alone in their house. After a couple of years, the house became abandoned and Sirius had to work to find a new home for the family. While he was waiting for sources within the prison walls, he discovered that Pettigrew was staying with the wizarding family as a rat and was trying to keep up to date on the evil Lord Voldemort.

Another fact about Sirius is that Sirius is named after the constellation of Canis Major. Because Sirius looks like a dog, it’s no wonder it’s so easily recognizable. However, this didn’t mean that Sirius was named after the Puppis constellation, which translates to “Poop Deck”.

Albus Dumbledore

Throughout the series, the love story between Albus Dumbledore and Sirius Black has been the subject of much speculation. What are their actual relationships like? Who are these characters and how are they related? This article will explore their relationship in depth. Also, we’ll look at Sirius’ early life. Sirius is a Muggle-born wizard who had an unhappy childhood. His mother, Walburga, disapproved of him and made him the object of the family’s disapproval. However, his uncle Alphard sympathized with him and left him a large inheritance that made him financially independent.

In the Harry Potter series, Sirius Black is one of Harry Potter’s four godsons, but it’s unclear exactly how they became acquainted. Their relationship began when Sirius Black was summoned by the Resurrection Stone. While Black assured Harry that dying would be painless, he said his godsons would be with him until the end of the series. When confronting Lord Voldemort, Harry was believed dead. He reached the fire and the stone slipped from his hand. After the series, Sirius Black gave his son the middle name Sirius in honour of his godfather.

After Harry meets Sirius, the two discuss the possibility of a marriage in the Harry Potter series. Sirius’ relationship with Harry is portrayed in a negative light. It is revealed that Sirius Black’s family background is a plot twist. Sirius Black is a wizard who’s more interested in Harry than Sirius. Sirius is also a wizard who has a very bad reputation.


In the book series Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius Black (or Magus) is an Animagus, a type of magical creature that can change into an animal. Sirius takes on the form of a black dog and can be vicious when he transforms into that form. In the books, Sirius’ dog form is the size of a bear, and is much more dangerous and powerful than his human form. In the movie adaptation of the series, he assumes a human form for this purpose.

The Animagus forms had the ability to communicate with normal animals. Sirius Black’s was a black dog named Snuffles, and he was able to communicate with Crookshanks on a very primitive level. In the film, Peter Pettigrew’s Animagus form was a grey rat named Scabbers and Wormtail. In the comics, these characters often communicate with each other on a basic level.

In the Harry Potter books, Animagus characters are often referred to as witches. The black dogs, like their human counterparts, can change shape at will. While they retain their human intelligence, their thoughts have a distinctly animal edge. Unlike human beings, Animagus are also able to eat animal food. However, unlike human beings, Animagus cannot change their appearance permanently, so it’s not possible to reverse it.

Lily Weasley

It is well-known that the two most popular characters in the Harry Potter series are James Potter and Lily Weasley. Both of them have strong moral principles, and Lily stood up for Snape after he bullied her. As a result, Lily and James broke their friendship with Snape, and Lily became a Death Eater. This prompted Sirius to call her a “Mudblood”.

Before studying at Hogwarts, Lily Weasley possessed remarkable abilities. She could manipulate flowers, fly in the air after jumping off a swing, and even make teapots sing. Her ability in making potions was evident, and she possessed an intuitive understanding of charm-making. She was also known for conjuring her corporeal doe Patronus, a powerful protective spell.

In the movie adaptation of the Harry Potter series, Sirius played the role of the best man at Lily and James’ wedding. They were both best friends, but their relationship was strained for years. Lily’s temper did not make it easy for her to trust James. She decided to date him once he matured from his bullying behavior. However, during their school years, Lily did not have a good opinion of James.

Sirius’s full name is an oxymoron

The first letter of Sirius’s full name is “Orion”, which refers to the constellation. According to some sources, his middle name was also Orion, and his first name is Regulus, derived from the Norse god Loki, whose other name was “Lok.” The full name is an oxymoron, as Sirius’ first and last names both refer to the brightest star in the night sky. The second part of the name, however, refers to the darkest colour, which is the absence of light.

Despite his oxymoronic name, Sirius was a proficient motorcyclist. He was able to keep his balance while riding pillion, and even duel three pursuers on broomsticks. He was also able to evade the pursuit of a Muggle police car. His driving skills were above average, and he modified his motorbike to fly. This feat took four years to complete, and Sirius continued to improve his skills and refine his craft.

As an adult, Sirius’s full name is an aphorism, an oxymoron. This name refers to the full name of the wizard. Sirius was born in the wand of his mother, Andromeda. His parents disowned him when he was a boy, and his mother, Walburga, burned the name of Sirius from the family tree. Albus Dumbledore later praised Sirius for the sacrifices he made for his beloved brother.

Sirius’s fear of heights

Having been confined to a prison wing for two years, Sirius developed a deep fear of heights. His fear of heights led to many attempts to escape his cell, but he eventually recovered. He met Snape, and the two made peace. Sirius even became friends with the cat Crookshanks. Sirius had taken up drinking, and he gave off a foul smell, like a Mundungus. Sirius turned around during the Christmas holidays, and when the Weasley family came to visit, he was heard singing, “God Rest Ye, Merry Hippogriffs.”

During his youth, Sirius’s fear of heights led him to rebel against the prejudices of his family. His hatred for his mother, Andromeda, and his brothers made him reject the values of the Order of the Phoenix. He was also jealous of his family’s success, and even sought to harm Harry and his friends. Throughout the series, Sirius’s fear of heights was an underlying theme.

Despite his fear of heights, Sirius gained the trust and loyalty of magical creatures. Crookshanks, an intelligent half-Kneazle cat, eventually came to respect him as a friend. He also became close to Buckbeak the Hippogriff. He was responsible for caring for him for two years. This relationship between Sirius and Buckbeak helped him overcome his fear of heights and lead to the creation of the Dumbledore’s Army.

Movies & TV Series

“Our Father” – Netflix Documentary Review (2022)

Netflix has just released a new true crime documentary called ‘Our Father’, which tells the story of a fertility doctor who injected himself into women without their consent, resulting in the birth of several dozen children. The film opens with a shocking shot that could be straight out of a horror movie, and this tension only grows as the true story of Cline’s crimes unfolds. The movie is not without its dark undertones, however, and contains profanity and swear words. Still, the message behind this doc is a powerful one.

Although Our Father is a compelling story, it suffers from a couple of flaws. The film is a true-crime movie, and it explores the delicate intersection of cultural, legal, and social ailments. While the overall story is compelling, it does not have the impact to win an Oscar. Netflix should focus more on exploring the human fallout from a murder that occurred during the Holocaust. As it stands, this documentary is a must-watch for people who love true-crime films and are willing to put in the effort.

Though Our Dad is not quite as powerful as The Fighter or The Interview, it does raise some important questions, including the nature of consent and white supremacy. It also attempts to understand the motives of the victim, Cline. It suggests that Cline was a member of a Christian cult, with the goal of creating as many white human babies as possible. Once they grow up, they find positions of power.

The documentary is a gripping tale, but the filmmakers seem content to milk every ounce of shock value out of the situation. It is replete with superficial testimonies from traumatised mothers, but this only serves to diminish their impact. The film also seems to completely ignore the district attorney’s office, which Jacoba had informed early on. The district attorney’s office has steadfastly refused to prosecute Cline despite the fact that he was not charged under the current law.

This film has earned mixed reviews, but it’s definitely worth a viewing. The Guardian called it a compelling story, but critics argued that it should have explored more of the bigger issues. As a result, Our Father currently has a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 82. But, it’s not without its flaws. Its flaws might be a part of what makes it so compelling.

While the movie’s main story is compelling, its underlying message isn’t as strong. Jacoba Ballard, a woman who’s fought for justice in this case, was the first to notice that something wasn’t right. She started recording conversations with Cline, and recorded conversations in which he told her to “up the number” when the number of half-siblings reached a certain limit. In her efforts to find her true father, Ballard contacted many misled individuals and even interviewed a half-sibling named BLANK.

Is ‘Our Father’ Documentary Based on a True Story?

Is ‘Our Father’ documentary based on a true story – or is it a fake drama? In this review, we take a look at the documentary’s disturbing trailer and the story behind its premise. Will Netflix’s documentary live up to expectations? We’ll answer these questions below. Regardless of the documentary’s authenticity, you’ll want to know what to expect before you watch it.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Netflix’s ‘Our Father’ documentary is its story. The real Jacoba Ballard was an only child and conceived through donor sperm. She had always dreamed of having siblings, so she was delighted to discover she had seven half-siblings, which defied the best practices in fertility medicine. Jacoba’s family later discovered that their fertility doctor had been inseminating his patients using his own sperm.

The underlying story of ‘Our Father’ is disturbing but it’s also heartwarming. The film reveals the intimate family histories of Ballard’s children and how their perspectives on the event shaped their lives. Donald Cline was an amoral doctor who practiced for 40 years. Those involved in the story have a right to know. They must get the truth out, and this documentary has done just that.

The new Netflix documentary Our Father has been making headlines this week. It tells the story of disgraced fertility doctor Donald Cline, who secretly sex-misconception to father 50+ children for his patients. The documentary was released on Wednesday and has prompted outrage and shock among Netflix users. Several users have called the former fertility doctor’sick’.

The Netflix documentary focuses on people who found out they had many half-siblings, all of whom live within close proximity to each other. In addition to the women who were successfully impregnated by Cline, it features men who believed their sperm was used in their infertility procedures. Ultimately, it shows that these half-siblings were only able to discover their parents’ secretive act after DNA testing. As a result, the medical authorities were unable to do much about it.

The documentary is a compelling read. The harrowing story is compelling. The half-siblings’ plight is compelling enough to warrant a full viewing. But is it based on a true story? And can the documentary really be relied on? If so, why? And should we believe it? There is no way to know for sure without seeing the film, but it’s a compelling watch.

Movies & TV Series

‘Operation Mincemeat’ (2022) – Movie Review

Is Operation Mincemeat Based on a True Story?

In ‘Operation Mincemeat’ (2022), we’re in for a wild ride. Set in London, the British secret service is in search of a mysterious, escaped woman. But she’s not alone. Other women, including a female spies, are trying to catch the woman who is responsible. But will they be able to get to her without being noticed? Or will they find out who they’re trying to kill? Luckily for us, the movie is on Netflix and we’re going to have a chance to check it out!

“Operation Mincemeat” is a fantastic spy movie based on a popular book by Ben Macintyre. The movie features a strong cast, but it also feels over-furnished with unnecessary subplots and endless dialogue. The film also introduces a young Ian Fleming, the inspiration for the James Bond character. Johnny Flynn plays the author and delivers an affecting narration. The story follows an interagency team of intelligence agents who have to find a way to save the world.

The plot of ‘Operation Mincemeat’ is a fascinating true story that focuses on the espionage activities of the British government in World War II. In this movie, a team of British military officers is tasked with diverting the German military from Italy by dropping a corpse dressed up as a high-ranking officer into the sea off the coast of Spain. But their mission is threatened by a secret society that wants to take advantage of the man’s death. Fortunately, the ‘Operation Mincemeat (2022)’ movie has a great cast, so the story is well worth watching.

The plot of ‘Operation Mincemeat’ is well-paced and well-acted, but the film’s cynical tone is often distracting. As a result, Miss Sloane is a bit too irritating. However, despite its flaws, Operation Mincemeat (2022) hits all the right notes when it comes to portraying a war-time Homefront, with the British buttoned-ups amidst shadow-war maneuvers and a surprisingly human touch.

While the film is still pretty solid and offers some fun moments, it is not enough to make it a blockbuster. It is a largely talky drama that could have worked as a miniseries. But that is what the British government needs when it comes to their secret wars. And there’s no way to be certain that a secret group of Nazis isn’t just nonsense rumors. The film’s story has a solid cast of real-life stiff-upper-lip types that plays the role perfectly.

The plot follows a team of MI5 agents who are trying to convince the enemy that the Allies are still present in Sicily. The men are led by Charles Cholmondeley, a quiet, unassuming MI5 agent. He and Jason Issacs, a former RAF lieutenant, are convinced that Cholmondeley is onto something and put the plan into action.

Is ‘Operation Mincemeat’ Based on a True Story?

The film ‘Operation Mincemeat,’ which is set during World War II, is based on a real story that happened in 1943. British intelligence officers knew that the Nazis were planning to invade Sicily and planned a series of deceptions to divert their attention away from the island. Charles Cholmondeley, a Flight Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force, played a crucial role in orchestrating this deception. In order to get the information they needed, they took the body of a homeless man and posed it as a British intelligence agent. They took rat poison from his body and stuffed it into a suitcase.

The movie features an all-star cast and uncovers a little-known aspect of World War II. Colin Firth plays the role of an intelligence officer in the movie, and is a compelling character. The movie portrays what happens to the team as they attempt to deceive the Nazis. It is a fictional story, but it is based on a true story, and the real-life events that took place during this time helped save thousands of lives.

The movie was based on the book “Operation Mincemeat” by Ben Macintyre, and is based on an actual event. The plot revolves around a British Intelligence agent who tries to steal a Nazi submarine. The plan was never formally stated by the British Intelligence service, but Fleming’s book, which has been translated into a film, hinted at its origins.

As an added bonus, Operation Mincemeat is a love triangle. Cholmondeley and Montagu fall for each other, but the real story is much more complex. Although the love triangle between Cholmondeley and Montagu was fictional, Ben Macintyre has hinted that the two may have grew to be real.

Operation Mincemeat is a unique wartime tale of deception, and it is a highly successful one. It is often credited as the greatest deception in military history. Several fantastic elements are present, but they are not fictitious. In other words, ‘Operation Mincemeat’ is based on a true story.

The movie’s premise is fascinating and intriguing, but there is also a real truth behind it. The story began when a British vice-consul in Madrid received a letter marked “Personal and Most Secret.” The letter was addressed to General Sir Harold Alexander and had been written by Lieutenant General Archibald Nye. When the Germans intercepted these letters, they sewed them up with black eyelashes, which was intended to indicate that the documents had been removed. Ultimately, they did succeed in getting their man and their mission back.

The film depicts the events that happened during World War II. The film is loosely based on actual events. The Germans may have fallen for a Nazi-hating spy. However, it’s unlikely the actual story was so far off from the truth. The plot is far from clear, and many details about the events surrounding the war are ambiguous, but there are some interesting facts to consider.

Movies & TV Series

Bend it Like Beckham (2003) :Some Facts of This Movie

You might be asking yourself: Bend it Like Who? Although David Beckham may be a household name in England, he is still a bit of an unknown in the States. That is, unless you’re a big soccer fan. David Beckham is the real-life soccer star of Manchester United and the hero of this film’s protagonist Jess Bharma (Parminder K. Nagra), a young Indian girl who dreams of playing professional soccer despite the forbiddance of her family.

Jess’s dreams of playing professional soccer had never made it out of the local park, until one day Jules Paxton (Keira Knightley) just happens to be jogging through. Thanks in large part to her own determination, Jules has managed to get a women’s team together and wants Jess to join. There is only one problem: her family. Her conservative family was fine with her playing soccer when she was young, but now—especially since her older sister is getting married—they want her to find a nice Indian boy, get married and learn how to cook Indian food (sound familiar?). At first Jess is able to sneak away to practices and matches, but once her family gets wind of her activities, she must decide whether to follow her dreams, or stay true to her heritage and risk living a nightmare.

If this plot summary sounds vaguely familiar, it is probably because the movie has a lot in common with last year’s smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding (there is even a big, fat Indian wedding). The movie has all the laughs and dilemmas of a girl coming up against her family’s heritage, mixed with an exciting sports movie. If I have one complaint with the movie, it is that it feels like it must add a interethnic relationship between Jess and her white coach Joe (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers). Although the relationship does make for a couple of good gags, the romance seemed forced and it is never quite believable.

For those of you soccer fans hoping to see David Beckham in action, you might be disappointed. Although there is some stock footage of the star at the beginning of the film, he makes only a small cameo in the film later on (and the filmmakers don’t miss a chance for a Spice Girls joke, being that Beckham is married to Posh Spice). Still, there is still plenty of soccer action to satisfy any sports nut and the movie’s soundtrack could probably be released under the “Jock Jams” label.

Will Bend it Like Beckham become the national hit that Greek Wedding was last year? The film has already become a hit in the U.K., but whether or not the same will be true in the U.S. remains to be seen. Either way, it is a funny, exciting and delightful comedy that deserves some attention. I give it an A-.

Movies & TV Series

Back to the Future Part II (1989): Some Known Facts of This Movie

Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson, Elisabeth Shue

When they made the original Back to the Future in 1985, director Robert Zemeckis and screenwriter Bob Gale never intended to make a sequel. The first film’s famous ending was meant as nothing more than another gag. However, with the film’s success, both the studio and audiences demanded a continuation. If they were going to have to make another film, Zemeckis and Gale decided to just go all the way and make it a trilogy. They filmed both Part II and Part III simultaneously.

The second film takes off right where the first one left off. Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) has come back from the future and persuades Marty (Michael J. Fox) and Jennifer (Elisabeth Shue) to come back with him. It seems that in the future, Marty and Jennifer’s future son (also played by Fox) will get arrested, sending his family into turmoil. Marty must pretend to be his own son, in order to stop this mess from starting.

Their mission is successful, but something happens that they weren’t expecting. Old Biff (Thomas F. Wilson) steals the time machine and presents his younger self with an all-knowing sports almanac. Biff uses the almanac, becomes a millionaire and turns Marty’s 1985 Hill Valley home into hell on earth. In order to stop this from happening, Marty and Doc must travel back to 1955 and take the book away from Biff.

Like most sequels, Back to the Future Part II doesn’t quite live up to the high standards set by the first film. The filmmakers create a future that is one big advertisement for one company after another. You can almost hear the subliminal messages saying: “wear Nike” and “buy Pepsi.”

I have read some critics who compared the original Back to the Future film with the Frank Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life. For me, the comparison really rings true in the sequel. The alternative 1985 is to Marty McFly what Pottersville was to George Bailey. Instead of seeing what life would have been like if he had never been born, Marty gets to see first hand what could happen when you mess around with the Space Time Continuum.

The movie really gets moving when the characters go back to 1955. Not only is this because most of the film’s best action and jokes take place in this sequence; but also because it gives viewers a chance to revisit the previous film from a different perspective. This was an interesting plot twist that remains (to my recollection) the only sequel to journey back into its original.

Like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Back to the Future Part II gives audiences a chance to enjoy the humor and adventure that made its predecessor so successful, but never quite lives up to the expectations set by it. Fortunately, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Part III would put the franchise back on top. I give Part II a B.

Movies & TV Series

Auto Focus (2002): Some Facts of This Movie

Paul Schrader has always had an eye for dark material, whether as a screenwriter (Taxi Driver; Raging Bull) or as a director (Affliction). Therefore the life story of actor/amateur pornographer Bob Crane seemed like a perfect project for him.

After many successful years as a radio DJ, Bob Crane (Greg Kinnear) got his big break as the lead in the TV sitcom Hogan’s Heroes. While filming the show, Crane meets John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe), a high tech wiz who is testing video cameras for Sony. Carpenter invites Crane to a strip club, where Crane finds himself sitting in with the house band as a drummer. This is exciting for Crane, who starts to make a habit of it, always coming home late to his wife Anne (Rita Wilson). Crane has been happily married for fifteen years, but suddenly finds himself unable to resist the added female attention he is getting because of his new found celebrity.

Already unfaithful to his wife, Carpenter introduces Crane to the video camera and they begin a new hobby. Each night they bring home two different women, have sex with them and film it. Their motto: “A day without sex is a day wasted.” Meanwhile Hogan’s Heroes has been cancelled, Crane’s marriage to his second wife Patricia (Maria Bello) is on the rocks and he cannot control his sexual urges. He might seek help for his problem, if he actually thought he had a problem. “Sex is normal” he tells us.

Bob Crane’s bizarre 1978 murder in a Scottsdale, Arizona hotel room has become the stuff of Hollywood legend. To this date, police have still not found the killer. It remains a mystery. Schrader is smart to keep it a mystery, but he does use the clever device of having Crane narrate his story from beyond the grave.

Another effective device is his use of a shaky, handheld camera towards the end of the film, contrasting the still camera of the beginning. It suggests that Crane’s once steady life is becoming more and more unstable. Schrader also starts filtering more and more light into every shot towards the end of the film, giving the film an almost documentary look. Is reality finally closing in on Bob Crane?

Greg Kinnear delivers a brilliant, Oscar-worthy performance as Crane. He seems to become Crane, and in later scenes he is almost unrecognizable as himself. Nowhere does he seem more like Crane than in the Hogan’s Heroes scenes, which will no doubt get some fond chuckles from fans of the TV show. The rest of the performers are right on the money as well, especially Kurt Fuller as Werner Klemperer/Colonel Klink.

The film is well written, well acted and well directed. Its graphic sexual content is handled as nicely as it can be, but it will probably still be a turn-off for most movie goers. But for fans of good acting, you would be hard-pressed to miss Kinnear’s best performance to date. I give it a B.

Movies & TV Series

Back to the Future (1985): Movie Review

Hollywood during the Reagan era might as well be known as the time of the blockbuster. While many of the blockbuster films of the era were forgettable, Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 time travel comedy Back to the Future manages to stand out from the rest.

For anyone who has been living in a cave for the past 17 years, here’s a quick plot summary. The movie stars Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, a typical 1980s teenager who finds himself back in the year 1955, thanks to a time machine invented by wacky scientist Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). As if going back in time 30 years wasn’t adventurous enough, Marty soon finds himself interfering with his parents falling in love. Things become really strange when Marty’s teenage mother (Lea Thompson) develops a crush on him, instead of his father (Crispin Glover). A family photograph tells him that if he doesn’t get his parents together, his existence and that of his siblings will soon be erased.

The movie made a star out of young actor Michael J. Fox. His agent originally turned down the role because it would interfere with his filming of the TV show “Family Ties.” However, when actors like C. Thomas Howell and Eric Stoltz didn’t work out, the filmmakers went back to their original choice and Fox filmed both the movie and the show at the same time; getting only a couple of hours sleep a night. Christopher Lloyd was also a relatively unknown actor when the film was released. He had appeared in a handful of movies and on the show “Taxi,” but he had not yet had a big film role. He was always the first choice for the role and it is easy to see why. To this day it is still impossible to think of a mad scientist without seeing Lloyd’s Doc Brown (unless, of course, he’s Hannibal).

Just as impressive as the actor’s performances is the time machine itself. Making a time machine out of a DeLorean was an inspired decision, creating a time machine unlike any other time travel movie. The choice also provides one of the movie’s best gags when a 1955 farmer thinks the car is a spaceship from outer space.

Back to the Future also featured one of the most memorable movie scores to come out of the 80s. The songs are wonderful too, including “Power of Love” by Huey Lewis, who has a small part as a music judge. And who can forget Michael J. Fox on stage singing “Johnny B. Good”?

Screenwriter Bob Gale and director Robert Zemeckis came up with the idea for Back to the Future as a way of answering that age old question: were my parents ever my age? Starting with that simple idea, Gale and Zemeckis managed to create one of the most enjoyable blockbuster films of all time. Of course, it would go on to become one of the most entertaining movie trilogies, but it was never in Zemeckis’ original plans to make more than one film. The famous ending—emphasized by the brilliant line “Roads? Where were going, we don’t need roads”—was thought of as nothing more than a good joke. Good thing for us, they thought better of it. I give it an A.

Movies & TV Series

The Bad News Bears (1976): Some Facts of This Movie

“It’s not whether you win or lose, but it’s how you play the game.”

That’s what they always kept telling me when I was playing little league all those years ago. Although I didn’t believe it then, it is true and nowhere is it better demonstrated in the world of baseball films than in the 1976 little league flick The Bad News Bears. Disguised as a kids’ movie, the film makes a point about parents and adults living their own fantasies through their children, regardless of what the kid’s like. Political messages aren’t the only draw to the film which is also an amusing slapstick comedy, triumph of the underdog flick and a star vehicle for Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal (who had just recently become the youngest Oscar winner in history for her performance in Paper Moon).

Matthau plays former minor league ballplayer Morris Buttermaker, who now makes his living cleaning swimming pools. When the liberal councilman Whitewood (Ben Piazza) files a suit against the upscale North Valley Little League allowing a team of misfit youngsters called the Bears a chance to play, he hires Buttermaker to coach. The kids ball playing skills are as bad as their mouths and it is obvious after the first game—in which they lose 26-0 without even finishing half an inning—that it is going to be a very long season that will drain what little self-confidence the kids had to begin with.

Buttermaker sees a chance to improve the team by recruiting Amanda Whurlitzer (O’Neal), the daughter of his former lady friend who just so happens to have a nasty curveball. With Amanda’s pitching—actually done by a couple of male stand-ins because O’Neal didn’t have the stuff in real life—the Bears are able to keep it close, but they still need to figure out how to score some runs if they want to win a game or two. Enter Kelly Leak (“That dude is a baaaad mutha”) a local cigarette smoking, Harley Davidson riding hoodlum who just so happens to be the best athlete in the area. Once Kelly joins the team, the Bears start climbing the standings and Buttermaker sees an opportunity for his team to prove everyone wrong and win the championship. In true underdog movie fashion, the championship game is against the Yankees, the same team that put the 26-run whooping on the Bears on opening day.

The championship game brings out the worst in the parents. Even the liberal councilman that sued the league to give every kid a chance to play balks at Buttermaker’s decision to give each of his players some playing time in the final game. The worst offender is the Yankees head coach Roy Turner (Vic Morrow), who becomes so obsessed with winning that he gives his pitcher (and son) a slapping in front of dozens of spectators for not following instructions (“But dad, I wanted to strike him out”). The kid’s revenge is one of the best scenes in the movie, as he fields a ground ball to the mound and refuses to give up the ball, allowing an inside-the-park homerun. There’s hardly a more poignant moment in baseball films as when he then silently walks off the field, dropping the ball at his father’s feet.

Before he falls victim to the same selfish competitiveness as Turner, Buttermaker realizes the error of his ways and allows the Bears’ bench-warmers to take the field. The film’s main point is summed up in a conversation between the oft-teased Timmy Lupus (Quinn Smith) and Buttermaker:

“Mr. Buttermaker, I don’t know about you but I want to win, so don’t send me in.”

“Listen Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did you? Then get your ass out there and do the best you can.”

When Lupus makes the heroic catch, it’s a great moment. Not just because it’s heroic, but because it is as surprising to us as a film audience as it would if we were sitting on the bleachers.

The Bears do lose the championship game, but not without winning back a little respect and a lot of self-confidence. The Yankees look stoic and spiritless holding their first place trophy, but when the Bears throw back the second place trophy, proclaiming “Wait til next year”, we see what true winners look like.

It’s fitting that this film was released in 1976, the same year that the underdog drama Rocky took home the Oscar for best picture. Both films feature underdogs coming up just short in their pursuit of a championship, but both learning profound life lessons along the way.

As needed, the movie provides us with plenty of quirky little league players. There is the foul-mouthed, foul-tempered Tanner Boyle (Chris Barnes), the over-eating, psycho-analyzed catcher Engelberg (Gary Lee Cavagnaro), the stat-addict Ogilvie (Alfred W. Lutter) and the sensitive kid who dreams of growing up to be the next Hank Aaron, Ahmad Abdul Rahim (Erin Blunt). There’s a great scene between Blunt and Matthau, when the coach convinces his outfielder (who has tore off his uniform and climbed in a tree) to keep playing by telling him about the 42 errors Aaron made in his first year of Sandlot ball.

The child actors were not cast for their baseball skills, quite the opposite actually. Director Ritchie secretly looked for those kids with lesser skills, thus making the many inept plays seem real. In contrast, the actors hired to play the opposing Yankees were chosen for their ball-playing skills, allowing for an immediate contrast. That wasn’t the only trick the filmmakers used. They also built the little league field slightly larger than normal so the older actors (such as the 13-year-old O’Neal and the 14-year-old Jackie Earl Haley) would not look too big for their characters’ britches.

The role of the washed-up, alcoholic former ball-player turned little league coach was a perfect fit for Walter Matthau, who was a life-long fan of the sport and reportedly even used to coach some when he was a teenager. Add to that that few actors can play a better comical drunk than Matthau.

The Bad News Bears is a lot of fun and still one of the most enjoyable of all baseball films. It was one of the biggest hits of 1976, and remains one of the highest grossing baseball films to date. As a Seattle Mariners fan in the middle of a pennant race with the Oakland Athletics, what does this film mean to me?

“Bad news for the Athletics”

I give it an A-.

Movies & TV Series

Bang the Drum Slowly (1973): Some Known Facts of This Movie

“As a catcher he was a million dollars worth of promise worth two cents on delivery.”

So New York Mammoths star pitcher Henry Wiggen (Michael Moriarty) describes his catcher and roommate Bruce Pearson (Robert DeNiro). As the movie opens, Henry and Bruce are leaving the Mayo clinic in Minnesota, where they just learned that Bruce is dying of Hodgkin’s disease. Although they had been rooming with each other for a while, Henry wasn’t particularly fond of Bruce, whose nasty habits—including chewing giant wads of tobacco and pissing in the sink—often got on his nerves. But when he learns that Bruce is dying, he befriends him, which is something few others ever had.

Bruce was a dimwitted fellow (“he was almost too dumb to play a joke on”) who often was the subject of ragging from his teammates. When Henry learns that the ball club has just signed a new hot shot catcher named Piney Woods (Tom Ligon), he works a clause into his contract that binds him to Bruce: if Bruce is traded, so is Henry, if Bruce is cut, so is Henry, etc. This new clause is a personal bug to team manager Dutch Schnell (Vincent Gardenia) who goes to epic lengths to discover the reasons behind it.

So as not to cause an overdose of sympathy or increased distance from the rest of the team, Henry tries to keep Bruce’s disease a secret, but eventually word gets out and the team rallies around Bruce and makes a run for the pennant. Even the “doom-ded” Pearson—who finally is getting some playing time—starts showing some of that millions of dollars of promise.

Bang the Drum Slowly came very early in the well documented career of Robert DeNiro. It was released in 1973, the same year DeNiro would explode onto the screen in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets and just one year before he would win his first Oscar as the young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II.

Early in his career or not, DeNiro’s now famous work ethics were already there. To prepare for his role, he read a book about baseball written by the production’s technical advisor Del Bethel, and spent hours watching games and highlights. He also worked out with trainers, encouraging them to throw at him as hard as they could while he worked out in full catcher’s gear. The hard work definitely appears on screen, as DeNiro is thoroughly convincing as a catcher—that is, in the few scenes we actually get to see him behind the plate. If there is a bad thing to say about his ball playing scenes (which were filmed at Yankee and Chea stadiums), it is that there are too few of them. Much of the film takes place in hotels and locker rooms, and Bruce spends a lot of the film on the bench. There is, however, an excellent extended sequence on the ball field late in the film as we see the effects of his illness starting to take effect.

Also impressive on the field is Michael Moriarty. Moriarty looks every bit as impressive as a pitcher as Dennis Quaid did in The Rookie or Kevin Costner in For Love of the Game. Although DeNiro is definitely the bigger star looking back, it was Moriarty who had the star role in Bang the Drum Slowly. His character, pitcher Henry Wiggen, was the focus character for a set of four novels by Mark Harris, the first being The Southpaw, followed by Bang the Drum Slowly, A Ticket for Seamstitch and finally It Looked Like Forever in 1979. To the best of my knowledge, no films were ever made out of the other books, probably because the disease plot of Bang the Drum appealed to audiences of the 70s who had just seen the similar Brian’s Song on television.

The movie had some great scenes, usually involving Vincent Gardenia as the team’s colorful manager. His determination in discovering the secret behind Henry’s devotion to Bruce is hilarious, as is his speech comparing winning to capturing a fly in your hands (“if all the fingers don’t work together . . .”).

The movie looks a little dated today, particularly the stock footage used in many of the ball playing sequences. Fine performances, some good humor and a tragic, but touching ending, however, makes this baseball and disease drama worth watching. I give it a B.

Movies & TV Series

Barbershop (2002): Some Known Facts of This Movie

Barbershop is the kind of movie that could have been made as a play. Most of the action takes place in one room, a barbershop owned by Calvin (Ice Cube). The shop has seven barbers: Calvin; Eddie (Cedric the Entertainer), the aging veteran; Terri (Eve), the shop’s lone woman; Jimmy (Sean Patrick Thomas), a know-it-all kid working his way through college; Ricky (Michael Ealy), a two time felon trying to avoid his third strike; Dinka (Leonard Howze), an Africa native with an interest in poetry; and Isaac (Troy Garity), the token white guy whom nobody wants to get their hair cut by.

Calvin inherited the shop from his father and is now looking to unload it in hopes of starting his own record company. Near the beginning of the film, he makes a hand shake deal with a local loan shark to sell his barbershop for twenty thousand dollars. The loan shark promises that the sign will still read “barbershop,” but reveals his true intention to turn the shop into a gentleman’s club after the money has changed hands. This upsets Calvin because he knows it will put everyone in the shop out of work.

Surprisingly, Barbershop has a lot in common with the Frank Capra classic, It’s a Wonderful Life. Like George Bailey, Calvin is frustrated with the life he inherited and longs to do something better with his life. However, after another eventful day at the shop, Calvin starts to realize that it is more important to him than he thought.

Although a majority of the movie takes place in the barbershop, there are a couple of subplots that give the film some breathing room. One involves a couple of inept thieves attempting to break into the ATM machine they stole. The other is Calvin’s attempts to buy back the barbershop. The ATM story provides some great slapstick comedy and it eventually serves to provide an ending for the film.

Still, the heart of this movie is in the barbershop and director Tim Story gives his young stars a chance to showcase their talents. Every actor gets at least one (often two or three) good speeches. The best come from Cedric the Entertainer, better known as the guy dancing in the Bud Light commercials. Cedric’s Eddie sits the entire day in his chair (he never has any customers) and presents his politically backwards opinions on Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and even Martin Luther King.

Cedric’s Eddie is also the one who provides the film with its moral center. He is the first person Calvin informs of the shop’s closing (besides Calvin’s wife). Eddie gives a passionate speech about what the barbershop means to him and what it meant to Calvin’s father. “He believed that something as simple as a little haircut could change the way a man feels inside,” he tells Calvin.

I expected Barbershop to be humorous, but I didn’t expect it to be so warm-hearted. I give most of the credit to the wonderful cast, and the rest to director Tim Story, who was wise enough to just let them go. I give it a B.