Hello, Dear Reader. It’s late morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Monday, March 22, 2021. Currently, it is a chilly – by Sunshine State standards, at least – and gray day here; the temperature is 64˚F (18˚C) under cloudy skies. With the wind blowing from the north-northwest at 7 MPH (11 KM/H) and humidity at 86%, the chill factor is 62˚F (17˚C). Today’s forecast calls for partly sunny skies and a high of 72˚F (22˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy, and the low will be 55˚F (13˚C).
As you know, Paramount Home Media Distribution will release Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection on 4K Ultra-High Definition on June 8, four days before the 40th Anniversary of the theatrical release of Raiders of the Lost Ark. As someone who saw Raiders in theaters as a 17-year-old high school kid, I find myself dumbstruck at how quickly time flies, and how old many of my favorite television/movie franchises are in 2021.
My favorite movie franchise of all time, Star Wars, turned 40 in 2017 and even referenced its age (42 years at the time) in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. In terms of my life experience, the Original Trilogy films premiered in years where I marked certain school-related transitions, i.e., the original Star Wars film hit theaters in May of 1977, shortly before the end of sixth grade, which at the time was the final year of elementary school. In 1980, when The Empire Strikes Back opened, junior high was about to end for me, and high school loomed in my horizon. In 1983, Opening Day for Return of the Jedi (May 25, 1983) was less than a month away from Commencement Day for the Class of 1983.
Star Trek turned 50 the same year that I moved from Miami to New Hometown – 2016. This year it will be 55.
Jurassic Park celebrated its Silver Anniversary in 2018 and will be 28 this year.
Although I’m not a passionate James Bond fan, I still own the first 24 EON Bond films on Blu-ray. If we count just the films (Ian Fleming’s novels are older, naturally), the 007 franchise is 59 years old in 2021; Dr. No, the first film in the series, was released in the United Kingdom on October 5, 1962.
Superman: The Movie (1978) may not have been the first live-action version of the Man of Steel, but it was the first of the major film adaptations of that DC character, so I’m going to include it in this list. It was released in late 1978, so it’s almost 43 in March of 2021.
Other film franchises that I own on Blu-ray or DVD are, of course, of more recent vintage.
The film adaptations of Spider-Man and The Lord of the Rings turn 20 this year,as well as the Harry Potter adaptations.
Tempus fugit indeed.
On the Way from Amazon
It looks like I’ll be adding the Kino Lorber two-disc Blu-ray set of The Day After by director Nicholas Meyer to my shelves later today. Amazon shipped the package yesterday and it is now in a nearby facility, so even though the order status still says “Will arrive by 10 PM Tomorrow,” I have a strong suspicion it’ll be “Out for Delivery” soon (if it isn’t already).
I only saw The Day After once – when it aired on ABC in November of 1983 – and I don’t remember much of it. I had a lot going on in the fall of ’83, including a stormy relationship with my mom’s last boyfriend and a post-graduation bout of depression that hit me after I earned my high school diploma. All I remember is that it was directed by the same dude that made Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Time After Time and that it is the most-watched made-for-TV movie in history.
I like Meyer’s films; he is probably one of the more literary-minded directors and screenwriters in the business (in addition to his film work, Meyer has written several novels that feature Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, including 1974’s The Seven-Percent Solution, which Meyer adapted for director Herbert Ross in 1976). He is extremely witty and erudite, so when I remembered that he directed The Day After, I decided to get the 2018 Blu-ray, which has two versions of the film.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ll watch The Day After as much as I do Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. I used to watch Kubrick’s dark farce about nuclear war once a year when I was younger; now I watch it less frequently. Both films are significant milestones in Cold War-era culture and as films in their own right, so that’s why they’re in my video library.
Well, this is a good point as any to close this first blog post of the work week. I still have to take a shower, shave, and eat something – I am running on a single cup of café con leche, so I’m a bit hungry at the moment. And after that, I have to work on the new screenplay, so my day is only really getting started.
So, until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.
 When I attended primary and secondary schools in what was then called the Dade County Public School system (1972-1983), elementary school was grades K-6, junior high school (now middle school) was grades 7-9, and high school was grades 10-12. In the 21st Century, elementary is grades K-5, middle school is grades 6-8, and high school is grades 9-12.