Review: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker — Movies for the Rest of Us with Bill Newcott

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Rating: PG-13

Run Time: 2 hours 11 minutes

Stars: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Carrie Fisher

Writers: Chris Terrio, J.J. Abrams, Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow

Director: J.J. Abrams



Sitting there waiting for John Williams’ opening fanfare at the start of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, I harbored one apprehension: That despite their assurances that this ninth film in the series would bring the entire 42-year Star Wars saga to a close, the Sith Lords at Disney would nevertheless concoct a cliff-hanger ending, teasing yet another three-part go-round with the Skywalker clan.

Also, I whispered to my companion, “This better not end with a bunch of dancing Ewoks.”

Breathe easy: The Mouse House has admirably resisted going over to the Dark Side. Rise of Skywalker has a fully resolved fade-out, leaving no one in jeopardy and the bad guys vanquished. (Spare me the “spoiler alert” e-mails: What, you thought the Star Wars saga would end like The Hateful Eight?)

Will those who still wear their hair in Princess Leia buns or who argue about whether Han Solo shot first be satisfied with the way director J.J. Abrams and his army of writers have resolved the tale? Who knows? But for the casual observer — albeit one who since 1977 has seen every Star Wars movie during its opening week — this is a pretty satisfactory wrap-up.

The iconic opening text rambles on about rebels and an evil emperor, and then Chapter 9 picks up right where Chapter 8 left off: A ragtag army of rebels is holed up on some distant planet, desperately trying to figure out a way to resist a powerful galactic dictatorship that has developed a super weapon capable of destroying entire planets.

Now, you may ask: Wasn’t that the exact same plot of the original Star Wars? Well yes, yes it was. But back then the chief bad guy was the Emperor Palpatine, and the rebels were led by Princess Leia.

Oh, wait …

Okay, well, yeah, this time the Emperor remains (Ian McDiarmid, still playing the role after 36 years), and so does Leia (Carrie Fisher, still playing the role three years after her passing). But that’s definitely where the similarities end. Except for the hallway shootouts between our heroes and the Storm Troopers (terrible shots as ever) and the climactic dogfight in which mosquito-like space fighters wreak havoc on enemy ships the size of Manhattan (you just need to know where to aim). And of course there’s the brave young heroine in white (Daisy Ridley) who’s got multiple handsome guys hopelessly in love with her.

Hmm. Come to think of it, all that does sound familiar …

Ah! So, here’s an element in Rise of Skywalker that was definitely not in the first Star Wars movie: A repentant villain performs the ultimate act of self-sacrifice to save the life of an innocent. Ha! That didn’t happen … until the end of The Return of the Jedi.

The point here, I guess, is that repetition isn’t a glitch in the Star Wars universe — it’s a feature. Not unlike Medieval passion plays, for which audiences tolerated only the most minor variations on a theme, the Star Wars movies vary primarily in the people speaking the lines and the exact nature of the deus ex machina that will deliver our heroes from the brink of destruction this time.

The chief contribution Abrams has made in producing the last three Star Wars movies has been in assembling an appealing cast (as opposed to George Lucas’ three prequels, which seemed to have held their casting calls at Madame Tussaud’s). Daisy Ridley, beautiful and bad-ass, brings Marvel-caliber energy to the role of Rey, a Jedi. Adam Driver gives the most thoughtful and sympathetic of his three turns as conflicted bad guy Kylo Ren. We still don’t get enough time with Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Keri Russell as hotshot fighter pilots — I wouldn’t mind following that trio in some future Star Wars spin-off (but not a sequel).

And, of course, Abrams has had the advantage of recruiting Star Wars veterans whose audience goodwill is automatic. I won’t spill how many of them show up here, but it’s well known that Abrams employed previously unused footage of Fisher to cobble together a supporting role for her here. It’s the most ambitious gamble of the film, and surprisingly successful: Despite the fact that the entire script was reverse engineered to accommodate the snippets of film at hand, Princess Leia’s part in the narrative is not only substantial — it’s central to the plot.

No one is deluding themselves into thinking Disney is flushing the whole Star Wars universe. But it’s clear that the whole Skywalker saga ran its course a few films ago, and now is the time to stop. For one thing, if trends continued, the next installment would have required the return of Jar-Jar Binks.

Spoiler alert: There are Ewoks at the end. Dancing.

Featured image: Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Photo by Lucasfilm/Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2019 and TM Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

News of the Week: Saving Bookstores, Star Wars, and Some Guy Ate 30,000 Big Macs

Barnes & Noble

(Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve mentioned here before that if You’ve Got Mail were made today, The Shop Around the Corner would team up with the Fox Books superstore and go up against Amazon (I smell sequel!).

I thought of that after reading this New York Times op-ed by David Leonhardt on how we need to save Barnes & Noble. It seems like only yesterday when B&N (and other big chain bookstores) were seen as the bad guy. Now, with Amazon taking over everything, and the major chains going away, we’re getting nostalgic for the big chains. And well we should be. I want brick-and-mortar stores to survive, even if I love Amazon at the same time. (It’s interesting how the number of indie bookstores is increasing in this age of online book sales.)

The only problem I have with Leonhardt’s piece is a paragraph near the end, where he mentions that “publishers are focusing on big name writers” and “the number of professional authors has declined.” Publishers have always put their money and energies behind the bigger name authors, and I think there are probably more writers right now than ever; they’re just doing more on their own.

Now, a Story about a Family That Wants to Rule the Galaxy

Solo, the new Star Wars movie directed by Ron Howard, comes out on May 25. It was announced this week that the fifth season of Arrested Development launches on Netflix on May 29. Since Howard is the narrator of Arrested Development, it makes sense that there would be a way to combine the two. And here it is.

In other Star Wars news, a set of twins born on May 4 (aka “Star Wars Day”) was given the names of characters from the series to celebrate the day they were born. They were named Jabba the Hutt and Chewbacca (just kidding — they were given the middle names Luke and Leia).

Come, Let’s Mix Where Rockefellers Walk with Sticks

How much would you pay for an original Matisse? How about $80 million? That’s just one of the sales in this week’s auction of the David and Peggy Rockefeller art collection at Christie’s in New York City.

The three-day auction wasn’t even finished yet when they broke the record for the most money brought in from an art collection. On the first day, the total was at $650 million.

A lot of the winners were anonymous bidders. I can promise you I wasn’t one of them, though I did once own an album that had Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks on the cover.

And the No. 1 Rock Artist of All Time Is …

You wouldn’t think that someone would take the time to rank all 214 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame from best to worst, but you’d be wrong. Bill Wyman did it for Vulture.

It’s a massive undertaking, so kudos to Wyman for even attempting it. He even gives his list of the artists that aren’t in the HoF but should be. Now, all lists are subjective, but this one is especially so, and I’m sure it will lead to a lot of arguments. Wyman says a lot of things about certain artists that fans of those artists are going to hate, and in some cases, his arguments are inconsistent. I mean, picking Chuck Berry over the Beatles? The Ramones over Buddy Holly? Jeff Beck and Hall & Oates should be higher on the list, and I know Bon Jovi fans aren’t going to be happy at all (though I think they should be number 215 in this list of 214). Let me know in the comments below what you think of the list.

You Want Fries with That?

(Wikimedia Commons)

I once stopped at a Burger King and was informed that I couldn’t have a cheeseburger because they were all out of buns. I was rather stunned. A burger place that runs out of buns? That’s like Dunkin’ Donuts running out of coffee.

Don Gorske broke a record recently for eating burgers, not at Burger King, but at McDonald’s. He finished his 30,000th Big Mac last Friday at the same Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, location where he ate his first one in 1972. I guess this answers the eternal question, “How many years does it take to eat 30,000 Big Macs?”

With all of the publicity that Gorske’s eating has garnered, McDonald’s should give him free meals for life.

And if you’re wondering what it has done to him, note that Gorske has run marathons and probably has better cholesterol than you or I.

IMHO, This Controversy Is Ridiculous

I had no idea there was a debate going on about what that the abbreviation IMHO stands for. Many people think it stands for “In My Honest Opinion.” It actually stands for “In My Humble Opinion,” as this piece from The Atlantic explains.

BuzzFeed is conducting a poll to find out what readers think is right, and like most of the things that BuzzFeed does, the results are wrong. As I type these words, “In My Honest Opinion” has 57 percent of the vote, and “In My Humble Opinion” has 43 percent. Either BuzzFeed readers don’t know what they’re talking about, or they’re just clicking the wrong choice on purpose to mess with the results. The latter would be funny, but I sense it’s the former.

For the record, “LOL” stands for “laugh out loud,” “BRB” is “be right back,” and “tl;dr” stands for “this article is too long so I didn’t read it but I have an opinion on it anyway.”

RIP Art Paul, George Deukmejian, Anne V. Coates, Dick Williams, and Gayle Shepherd

Art Paul was the first art director for Playboy and created the famous bunny logo. He died last Saturday at the age of 93.

George Deukmejian was the governor of California for two terms, from 1983 to 1991. He died Tuesday at the age of 89.

Anne V. Coates edited many classic movies, including Lawrence of Arabia, The Elephant Man, Murder on the Orient Express, and Out of Sight. She received several Oscar nominations and was given an honorary award in 2016. She died Tuesday at the age of 92.

Dick Williams was a singer in the Williams Brothers singing quartet, which included his brothers Bob, Don, and Andy, who later went on to solo success. He died Saturday at the age of 91.

Gayle Shepherd was a member of another famous sibling group, the Shepherd Sisters, best known for their hit song “Alone (Why Must I Be Alone).” She died Monday at the age of 81.

Quote of the Week

“Movie reviews, they’re not even movie reviews anymore, they’re just ‘how come you made the movie you made and not the one I would have made?’”

—Bill Maher, ranting about how everyone seems to get so easily offended these days (warning, some salty language!)

This Week in History

Alan Shepard Becomes First American in Space (May 5, 1961)

Shepard went into space aboard the Mercury spacecraft Freedom. He made a second trip into space in 1971 as part of Apollo 14, along with astronauts Stuart Roosa and Edgar Mitchell.

Three Stooges Debut (May 5, 1934)

The very first Three Stooges short was titled Woman Haters, and the entire thing is done in rhyme and song. It’s one of the few Stooge shorts where they don’t use the names Moe, Larry, and Curly. Their names here are Tom, Jim, and Jackie.

Look for Walter Brennan as a train conductor. Co-star Marjorie White, who plays Larry’s bride, was killed in an auto accident just a year after Woman Haters was released.


This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Father’s Homework (May 7, 1960)

Father’s Homework
John Falter
May 7, 1960

Have you ever had that dream where you’re back in school and you have a big test, and if you don’t pass it you won’t graduate? I haven’t had a dream like that in many years, but I did have it throughout my 20s and 30s, and it disturbed me each time. During the dream, I could actually feel the dread of being stuck back in school. I’d wake up relieved that I wasn’t actually back in school but worried about going back to sleep, because I didn’t want the dream to continue. I guess I assumed my “waking up” was like a commercial break in the story.

Anyway, here’s a cover by John Falter depicting two dads trying to help their sons with algebra homework. I had to repeat algebra.

How to Make a Big Mac at Home

Did you know that there are several websites and books dedicated to the art of replicating restaurant food at home? One of the most famous is Top Secret Recipes. Here’s their attempt at copying the recipe for a McDonald’s Big Mac. Besides ground beef and a seeded bun, you’ll need dill pickles, iceberg lettuce, and their copycat recipe for the Big Mac special sauce.

And after you eat it, just think: only 29,999 more to go!

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Mother’s Day (May 13)

Here’s a Post article on Anna Jarvis, known as “the woman behind Mother’s Day.” Make sure you get something nice for your mom this Sunday. And by “nice,” I don’t mean something you find at the last minute at the CVS checkout counter.

But when you do buy her something, remember: Mother’s no mechanic!

Courtesy of Zippo



News of the Week: Miss Universe, Miss Betty White, and The Most Uninteresting Story of the Week

There She Is … No Wait, THERE She Is …

You’ve probably seen the video of Miss Universe pageant host Steve Harvey mistakenly naming Miss Colombia as the winner of the crown instead of the real winner Miss Philippines. It’s cringe-inducing live television at its best, and it certainly livened up a show that a lot of people probably don’t care about anymore. Here’s the moment if you missed it:

The latest? There are people who actually think the whole thing was staged, for ratings and attention. I don’t doubt things like that happen — especially in this day of viral videos and hashtags — but I really don’t think that’s the case here.

What I would like to know is why did Harvey add that line about the audience not blaming the contestants? Why would anyone blame them for Harvey’s mistake? Sounds like he was trying to deflect blame a little there.

Donald Trump says that if he were still in charge of the pageant this wouldn’t have happened (because when he had the pageant he personally typed up the cards the host used, or something), and many say they should let both women share the title. I think that’s a terrible idea, but I think we can expect to see a TV commercial soon with one or both of the women spoofing what happened.

A Betty White Christmas

Betty White at The 2005 Writers Guild Awards, February 19, 2005 Everett Collection /
Betty White at The 2005 Writers Guild Awards, February 19, 2005
Everett Collection /

For the past week or so, the game show channel Buzzr has had a marathon of Betty White game show episodes, showing everything from black-and-white episodes of What’s My Line? in the ’50s to later shows like Match Game and Super Password. Today they’re doing a full-blown Betty White Christmas 24-hour marathon. Instead of watching basketball or that A Christmas Story marathon for the 9,000th time, how about teaching the kids about this incredible woman Betty White?

It’s amazing the longevity White has had, isn’t it? Someone who had her own TV show in 1952 is still on the air. Wow.

James Burrows Hits 1,000

Speaking of amazing TV achievements, director James Burrows just directed his 1,000th episode of television, an episode of NBC’s new sitcom Crowded. You may remember seeing Burrows’s name in the credits of many TV shows because he has directed, well, practically every TV show you could name. Besides directing almost every episode of Cheers, Taxi and Will & Grace and many episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show, he directed the pilot episodes of Friends and Newsradio and The Big Bang Theory and Mike and Molly and …

You know what? I could list all of the shows Burrows has directed but there’s not enough room on this site. Check out his IMDb page.

The Most Uninteresting Story of the Week

I think we’re all impressed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has made so much money, breaking records left and right. It made $248 million in the U.S. opening weekend and $529 million worldwide. It also broke several single-day and preview-day records. But is this really an interesting story?

Is there anyone who predicted that the movie would fail or not break records? This is Star Wars we’re talking about, not Sisters or Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip. We’re talking about a franchise that’s been massively popular for decades. Sure, pop culture websites and magazines have to report the news that the movie did so well, but the coverage has been so breathless and filled with exciting, over-the-top phrasing that they’re making it sound like this is a case of man-bites-dog instead of dog-bites-man. Now, if Star Wars: The Force Awakens had bombed at the box office or was universally panned, that would have justified 50,000 social media posts.

Here’s a prediction I’ll make a few years in advance and you can quote me: The next Star Wars movie is going to make a ton of money.

Sarah Palin’s Revenge

Tina Fey brought back her Sarah Palin impersonation on last week’s Saturday Night Live and now Palin has her revenge, starring in a 30 Rock spoof titled 31 Rock. She even got John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and 30 Rock’s Kevin Brown to appear in the fake trailer. It really is uncanny how Fey can play Palin and Palin can play Fey and you actually believe it for a few moments.

And while we’re posting SNL holiday clips, this sketch from last week made me laugh out loud (or LOL, as they say).

The Meaning of Words

My friend Ken Levine has a post on his blog about words and phrases we still use even though their use doesn’t make sense anymore. For example, people still use the phrase “don’t touch that dial!” even though your TV probably hasn’t had a dial in years.

Sometimes I wonder if younger people know what the hell people are talking about when they hear certain words and phrases. Do they know what “half-past the hour” means or even what “hands” are on an analog clock if they’re used to a digital readout on their computers and phones? I still use the word “tape” when I talk about recording a TV show, even though I now use a DVR instead of a VCR. I just can’t seem to make myself use the word “record.”

Can you think of any others? I agree with most of what he says, but I think kids do know what albums are because so many live disc jockeys still use them and so many ads still play that record album “scratchy” sound.

The Great American Novel Map

What novel is your state famous for? Check out the Great American Novel Map, a chart that lists several famous American novels and puts them inside a map of the United States so we can see it visually. This is one of those Web things that is equal parts “cool” and “irritating.” You know that people in New York are going to be upset that their favorite novel doesn’t represent their state. The same with California and Florida.

The map is incomplete. I mean, I’m from Massachusetts and could list other Massachusetts novels besides Moby Dick, but even beyond that, if you’re going to do a fun map like this and want everyone to be interested in it, wouldn’t you make sure every state is represented at least once? What, no classic novels have been set in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, the Dakotas, Montana, or Iowa?

Christmas Leftovers


You’re probably reading this on Christmas night or maybe even a day or two after Christmas. That’s okay. I know you’re busy and have things to do and places to go and things to eat. But by this time you probably have a lot of leftover turkey and you want to do something with it besides make the usual sandwich (though there’s nothing at all wrong with a good turkey sandwich). Here are a few different things you can try.

This Turkey Pumpkin Chili is probably something you never thought of making, and great for a winter’s night. Or how about a Turkey Noodle Casserole? I might make this Next Day Turkey Primavera, because I don’t make enough things with the word “primavera” in them.

Or maybe you’d like a turkey dessert? And I don’t mean a dessert that happens to be shaped like a turkey. This Thanksgiving Turkey Cake looks like a typical cake with frosting, but it’s actually made out of turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and gravy. Put it on the table next to the pumpkin pie and cookies and brownies and see if anyone freaks out.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone here at The Saturday Evening Post.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Radio City Music Hall opens (December 27, 1932)
There’s still time to see this year’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes (it ends on December 31).

President Woodrow Wilson born (December 28, 1856)
The 28th president brought back the spoken State of the Union Address in 1913. It had started as a speech in 1790 but between 1801 and 1912 it was written and delivered to Congress.

President Andrew Johnson born (December 29, 1808)
Johnson became the 17th President after President Lincoln’s assassination.

Roberto Clemente dies in plane crash (December 31, 1972)
The baseball great was on a small plane headed to Nicaragua to help with earthquake relief when the plane crashed into the water.

Ricky Nelson dies in plane crash (December 31, 1985)
The accident that killed the singer and five others was probably caused by a heater on board the plane.

New Year’s Eve (December 31)
If you’re like me and hate going out on New Year’s Eve, you can watch the ball drop in Times Square on ABC, NBC, or CBS. Or you can head on over to CNN to see how Kathy Griffin will embarrass Anderson Cooper this year.

News of the Week: Darth Vader, Distraction, and the Diet of Tom Brady

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I can’t believe it’s the end of October already. Christmas will be here before you know it. And that’s when the new Star Wars sequel opens, on December 18. Here’s the official trailer:

Fans already have their theories about the trailer. People are examining it more than the Zapruder film. There’s Darth Vader’s helmet! Why is Leia crying? Hey, why does that character have that light saber? The big question is: where’s Luke? He doesn’t seem to be on the poster, and he might not even be in the trailer, though that might be him at 1:40, his repaired hand on R2D2. There must a reason for the secrecy involving the character. Does he look different? Is he in hiding? Has he (gulp) gone over to the dark side and is now the bad guy?

Io9 has a shot-by-shot breakdown of the trailer, which debuted during Monday Night Football, which made some fans unhappy. If you’re the type who likes to argue about things, you can read why some people want you to boycott the film because it’s “anti-white”.

If you plan to see it on opening day, you’re not alone. Believe it or not, fans are already buying tickets. May the Fandango be with them.

man using a laptop, a tablet, and a smartphone at once

The Age of Distraction

Many people are under the impression that because of all of the technological advances we …

I’m sorry, I had to check my e-mail. What was I saying?

Oh yes, distraction. Sure, we’ve always found things to help us kill our attention spans, but not at the level we do now. We’ve been programmed to believe that multi-tasking is actually a good thing, and we can do everything everywhere now because we carry our phones, our mail, our files, our TVs, our music, and our computers around with us in our pockets 24/7. There’s no downtime anymore. We’re always “on” and there’s always something new to distract us.

The new book The World Beyond Your Head by Matthew B. Crawford, argues that, as The Los Angeles Review of Books says, “we are living through an unprecedented crisis of attention.” And as a simple test, see if you can get through that entire review without getting antsy or skimming it or clicking away. A lot of people are having trouble reading anything longform now, because we’ve gotten so used to short social media posts and texts and smartphones and other forms of quick gratification.

The Typewriter Revolution by Richard Polt
The Typewriter Revolution by Richard Polt

The Typewriter Revolution

One thing you can do if you find yourself easily distracted is … buy a typewriter! This is a particularly good idea if you’re a writer and you don’t want to be distracted by email and Facebook and the latest news and games and various alerts and just want to concentrate on the words on the page. Sure, you can’t surf the Web on a Smith Corona — and the only “app” you might use is Wite-Out — but that’s kinda the point.

The Typewriter Revolution is a new book by typewriter expert and historian Richard Polt. In it, Polt not only explains how to choose the best typewriter and care for it, but he delves into the history of the machines, the famous people who used them in the past and the people who use them now, from novel writers to people who have typewriter blogs and host Type-In social events.

There’s a typewriter renaissance that’s been happening the past few years. Younger people are starting to love the machines because it’s not another screen they have to look at, and many people are discovering that unlike computers, they don’t get obsolete or break down or become disposable. Also, typewriters are works of art with different personalities.

Maybe we should thank Tom Hanks for the renewed interest in typewriters. He collects them and even created the Hanx Writer iPad app to bring the machines into the 21st century.

The Tom Brady Diet

A great philosopher, I think it was Aristotle, once said, “Don’t trust anyone who eats kale for breakfast.” And I guess that would include New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who has let us know exactly what he eats and doesn’t eat to keep in shape.

What does he like? Kale for breakfast, raw macaroons, and avocado-based ice cream. What does he avoid? Coca-Cola, which he calls “poison,” and Frosted Flakes, which he implies isn’t food (30:07). Let’s hope Coca-Cola and Kellogg’s don’t advertise at Gillette Stadium.

Doesn’t he know Frosted Flakes are grrrrrrrrrrrrrreat?

October 21, 2015

Universal Studios
Universal Studios

While the Star Wars movies are set in the past (a long time ago…), Back to the Future II was set, at least partly, in the future. October 21, 2015, to be exact. Well, it was the future in the movie. For us, the future is this week.

What did the movie get right in its depiction of 2015 life? Well, we have video-phone calls but still no hoverboards. We have video games that we can play without our hands, like Kinect, but no Jaws 19 (though Universal did create a trailer for it) We have video glasses in the form of Google Glass and virtual reality headsets (though they’re not mainstream yet), but no double neckties (thank God). The Washington Post has a good rundown of what the film got right and got wrong. The movie didn’t predict the Web either, but you can still get a print USA Today.

In the movie, the Chicago Cubs win the 2015 World Series, but … well, sorry, Cubs fans.

If you can’t get enough of all things Back to the Future, there’s a new documentary called Back in Time that includes interviews with the cast and crew and goes behind the scenes of all three movies.

Die Hard 6: An Idea That Should Die Hard

Contrary to popular belief, a movie sequel isn’t always a bad idea. After all, From Russia, With Love was a sequel to Dr. No, and we’ve had several more James Bond sequels since then, and we don’t have a problem with them, right? And everyone loves when there’s a new Avengers or Mission: Impossible, so if they’re well-made, sequels can be really great. Prequels, on the other hand … well, just look at the three Star Wars prequels. Prequels are often bad because they try to act as both prequel and sequel at the same time. If it’s done well, it’s fantastic. If it’s done poorly, then it can put a bad taste in your mouth about the films that came before (after?) it.

But that’s not stopping people from giving us Die Hard 6, which is in the works. What a terrible idea.

The plot? It’s an origin story! We’ll get to see young John McClane (hopefully played by another actor and not Bruce Willis in a bad wig) and the adventures he got into as a young cop in ’70s New York City. Besides the fact the last couple of Die Hard flicks weren’t that great and should have been a sign the series should just go away quietly, the plot goes against what happened in the original. McClane was a Joe Everybody, a non-hero suddenly finding himself in an incredible situation. And now we’re going to go back and see him battling bad guys and saving the day when he was in his 20s? If Willis is in it he might be in scenes in the beginning and end of the film, as an older McClane looking back.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Also: no.


October Is National Cookie Month

In honor of the new Star Wars film, how about some cookie recipes centered around characters from the film? Here’s a how-to video on how to make Darth Vader cookies, and here’s a page that shows you how to make R2D2 and light saber cookies. If you want to be really accurate with your cookies, get the Star Wars cookie cutters. You can make a Back to the Future cookie too.

Sorry, I couldn’t find any recipes for Die Hard cookies. If you do, let me know.

Upcoming Events and Anniversaries

Pablo Picasso born (October 25, 1881)
This site says that when it comes to art, Picasso was “probably the most important person of the 20th century.”

Opening of NYC subway (October 27, 1904)
If you don’t live in New York City, its subway system can seem awfully confusing. has a lot of great info to make it a little clearer, along with some great historical photos.

Theodore Roosevelt born (October 27, 1858)
After President McKinley was assassinated, Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States.

Stock market crash (October 28, 1929)
Known as Black Monday, the dark day led to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast (October 30, 1938)
Here’s the complete audio of the broadcast that many thought was a real newscast and that we were actually being invaded.

Halloween (October 31)
The once fun day has been hijacked by grown-ups and just isn’t the same.