Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mad Movie Man

A big thanks to Adam Hakari for inviting me to be the guest film critic on his MAD MOVIE MAN radio show yesterday. Adam and I discussed FRACTURE, DISTURBIA, AMAZING GRACE and BLADES OF GLORY. But our opinions certainly differed on that last film! Adam also shared his interesting reactions to HOT FUZZ, VACANCY and a number of current DVD releases. It was a fun show.

During the academic year, MAD MOVIE MAN broadcasts live from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, each Tuesday at 5 p.m. Central Time. For more information, please go to

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Ruby Slippers Caper

Julie, an imaginative middle-school student, narrates the following mystery story. She insists everything actually happened and that all names have been changed to protect the guilty.


I told everyone I didn’t do it, but no one believes me. They’ve probably heard me talk about how much I wanted Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers too many times. When I first saw them gleaming at me from a glass display case, a chill crept up the back of my neck. How I wished those sparkly shoes were mine! And, yes, I even thought about trying to pull off the perfect robbery. But someone beat me to it, I swear.

So who turned me in to the Hollywood Wax Museum manager? And, because I’m innocent, who’s the guilty party? I don’t think any of my friends would turn against me. Surely not Reggie. But wait, what was it he said to me when we were talking about the slippers during our field trip to the museum? Ah, yes, now I remember. “Julie, your parents are rich enough to buy you anything you want – even WIZARD OF OZ memorabilia.”

That’s so like Reggie! He loves to impress everyone with big words and how much he knows about the movies. Could he be jealous? And what about Carlos? He’s always willing to accept a dare. Maybe someone dared him to play a joke on me.

I’m almost positive it isn’t my little sister Tina, even though she tagged along on our school field trip to the museum and has been bugging me to stop going on about the Ruby Slippers ever since.

Then there’s that cranky security guard. He might have overheard me telling Reggie I knew what it was like to want something bad enough to steal it. Boy, did he get upset when we spent so much time looking at the Ruby Slippers. Come to think of it, we weren’t the only ones. Who was that strange little old woman staring at the display like she was under some kind of spell?

Yikes! Here comes the manager. I’ve got to stop my heart from pounding so fast. Okay. I’ll just tell him the truth. Then when he lets me go, I’ll do what I can to solve this mystery.