Pop Culture

Golden Gate Bridge

History of the Golden Gate Bridge: 82 Years Old

By billpetro / May 31, 2019 / 0 Comments

HISTORY OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE This week we celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. On May 27, 1937, the bridge opened to traffic after taking over five years to build. I remember asking my father when I was young: “Why isn’t the Golden Gate Bridge golden?” He didn’t…

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Tommy album

History of The Who’s Tommy: 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / May 23, 2019 / 0 Comments

HISTORY OF THE WHO’s TOMMY Fifty years ago today on May 23, 1969, the British rock group The Who released the double-album rock opera, Tommy. Commercially the record went Gold in the UK and Double Platinum in the US. Several of the songs were released as singles that charted in the Top 20 in both…

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die hard

Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

By billpetro / December 24, 2018 / 0 Comments

IS DIE HARD REALLY A CHRISTMAS MOVIE? Scholars and historians have debated the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” for centuries. Or at least during the last three decades since the movie was released. This is why readers have turned to me, your friendly neighborhood historian, to wrestle with this age-old question and help…

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Movie Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

By billpetro / December 15, 2017 / 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI For over 40 years, Lucasfilm has brought us popcorn movies extraordinaire. The Last Jedi is no exception. I realize many readers will not read this review until they’ve seen the movie, even with the promise of no plot spoilers. Let me just say this: “Yule love it!” The…

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Rogue One

Movie Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

By billpetro / December 16, 2016 / 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY In many respects, this was a more exciting and thrilling movie than the previous Star Wars: Episode VII, The Force Awakens” It was more heroic, noble, and self-sacrificing. Unencumbered by previous storylines, it was able to introduce new characters into an existing historical narrative. Often, the new…

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Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

By billpetro / July 24, 2016 / 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: STAR TREK BEYOND It has been now almost 50 years since Star Trek first premiered on NBC TV in September of 1966. See my history of Star Trek here. After several television series and movies we are now treated to the 13th feature film Star Trek Beyond. While this is not the best…

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Movie Review: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

By billpetro / December 16, 2013 / 1 Comment

MOVIE REVIEW: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Peter Jackson’s second helping — The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug — written and directed by Peter Jackson with flavoring from J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic novel is more confident than the first helping of An Unexpected Journey. It is the #1 movie of the opening weekend, scoring 74%…

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Movie Review: Star Trek Into Darkness

By billpetro / May 19, 2013 / 0 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS [No plot spoilers] I’ll start with the bottom line: I loved it. If possible it’s better, if not as inventive as the previous movie in the reboot released in May 2009 and reviewed by me here. I’d call it the most enjoyable movie so far this year, though I may be biased…

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Movie Review: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

By billpetro / January 8, 2013 / 181 Comments

MOVIE REVIEW:  THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY Even if I had been told The Hobbit was the worst movie ever made, I still would have gone to see it. It wasn’t. But even after seeing it twice my feelings remain mixed. In talking to friends who have been to it, reactions to the movie seem…

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