Mike Sirota's Blog – Swords, Specters, & Stuff
Welcome to My World
I started this blog in January 2012 for one simple reason: I love to write. I named it “Swords, Specters, & Stuff” because I especially love to write about writing, about books and movies in my favorite genres, about authors that mean a great deal to me. But there’s so much more than that, hence the all-inclusive “Stuff” in the title. It is “Stuff” that gives me carte blanche to write about anything, which is why you’ll see stories about special trips to Cooperstown, Sedona, and other places; about getting older; about baseball; about the otherworldly way in which I met my soul mate; about the loss of good friends, and so much more. Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment.
To be accurate, SPIRIT RIDER (1993) could also fall under the heading of “First Nations Film Gems.” The territory of the Ojibwa people—also known as the Chippewa—spans portions of Southern Canada and the Northern Plains states. But we’re just quibbling here. It has nothing to do with this delightful family story.
Billy Crystal is one of my favorite performers, and his 1991 film, CITY SLICKERS, is a gem, much loved by critics and moviegoers alike. As you would guess, he has many of the best lines in the film…but not all. There are plenty of contributors in this laugh-a-minute story.
My bride and I have gotten hooked on a new “dark comedy/mystery” series on Acorn TV. RECIPES FOR LOVE AND MURDER, based on the Tannie Maria mystery novels of Sally Andrew, takes place in the rural South African town of Eden. That’s a misnomer, because this Eden is anything but a paradise.
Bestselling horror novelist Malcolm Page is on his way to SNAKE ISLAND—which is also the title of this 2002 creature feature—to gather material for his next book. The other tourists and crew on this African river cruise are in awe of the guy…
A gorilla, a wolf, and an alligator walk into a bar. Wait, let me rephrase that. A giant gorilla, a giant wolf, and a giant alligator walk (actually, run and swim) into Chicago. Sounds weird, but if you know what it means, you probably saw the Dwayne Johnson-fueled sci-fi/action/monster film, RAMPAGE.
Robert Sorrels, the subject of this story, passed away a few months after I first published the post in 2019.
When the Padres-Rockies ballgame on the tube ended on a spring night in 2008, I climbed into bed. At 1:30 a.m. Following a 22-inning game that played out over six-plus hours. Was I bummed? Well yeah, because the Padres lost, 2-1. Was I bummed because I’d watched every pitch for those six-plus hours? Not at all.
I can’t even guess at how many times I’ve seen the three original JURASSIC PARK films. It will take a long time for me to catch up with the JURASSIC WORLD trilogy. Here are the “better” and “best” films—IMHO, of course.
The Wilhelm Scream is a stock sound effect in Hollywood and has been used in numerous movies and TV series. Its introduction came about in the 1951 western, “Distant Drums,” starring Gary Cooper. The scream was voiced by actor/singer Sheb Wooley, who had a small role in the film. You may remember Wooley for his popular hit song about a “one-eyed one-horned flying purple people eater.”
Since presenting this post in 2019 the sixth film in the franchise, JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION, hit the big screen and came out on Blu-Ray. This alters my rankings a bit, as you’ll see.