Friday, February 26, 2010

Shakespeare By Any Other Name...

Ever hear the theory that
William Shakespeare is either

A) not a real person
B) didn’t actually write his plays but Marlowe did
C) some derivation thereof?

Sure, we all have.

My take on it is:
I love a good mystery, but who cares? At the end of the day, we still have these miraculous plays and sonnets. So regardless of whether or not there are clandestine shenanigans behind the scenes, let us rejoice that these works survived and can be enjoyed. Though it is fun to, as I am fond of saying, “entertain the notion” of such an ordeal.

Well, someone is entertaining the notion … in movie form.
In a film called Anonymous which seems as if it will be very good or very silly, Roland Emmerich is brining us a story of how Shakespeare came to write his plays (or not). It’s a political/historical thriller. Here’s his description as posted online: It's a mix of a lot of things: it's an historical thriller because it's about who will succeed Queen Elizabeth and the struggle of the people who want to have a hand in it. It's the Tudors on one side and the Cecils on the other, and in between [the two] is the Queen. Through that story we tell how the plays written by the Earl of Oxford ended up labeled 'William Shakespeare'

See? It could go either way.

I don’t know if this “spin” is part of the plans for the story or not, but here’s what I came up with after hearing this idea — what if the truth is that William Shakespeare did exist but he had been framed, as it were, used as a scapegoat to hide the real (aristocratic) culprit who slandered and told the “secrets” of royalty and other high ranking societal figures with his [or her!] deep-seeded works. Shakespeare, in his day, would then be punished and chastised for them… and the irony is that now he’s revered as one of the greatest writers the world has ever known. If I may say so, THAT’s a cool thought.

Let’s hope Anonymous turns out to be a marvelous period piece flick with all the intrigue, sense and elegance of a good Shakespearean “thriller.” Vanessa Redgrave is attached, so it has some merit already. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No, Not Depp...

If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll be quick to tell you I’m a pretty obsessive kind of guy. I mean, you only need to come to this site to know I’m obsessed with Peter Pan. But it is true. It’s not just Barrie’s creation… I tend to get uber-excited/interested from time to time.

However, for all of how it may look, I certainly know when I am truly obsessing. And quite frankly, I can’t recall the last time I’ve been THIS hooked on something. I’m talking about the cartoon series I mentioned in the previous post.

Oh sure, I’ve liked other shows a lot recently, such as The Mighty B! (which Laughter told me about) and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which Bart and I recently “got into” when a friend of ours asked us to record it for her). But even with our absolute love for the delightful awfulness that is Sunny which we craved every week (and bought the complete series of) I didn’t have days where I’d get through the hours thinking, excitedly: When I get home, I can watch more!

As you can see from the logo image, the show that I’m currently in love with is Johnny Test. I’d heard of it, knew vaguely about it (and I mean vaguely) but had not actually watched it until I accidentally caught one the other day (a couple of weeks ago now, I think.) Immediate response: MUST WATCH MORE.

Fortunately it plays often (as I said in the last post) so I set my TiVo to pick up episodes. The more I saw, the more I fell in love with the characters, the premise, the humor, with everything.

For those who don’t know, Johnny Test (his actual name) is an 11 year old boy with a talking dog named Dukey. Dukey is able to talk (and drink coffee and ski, and…) because Johnny’s 13 year old twin (though not indentical) sisters Susan and Mary Test are geniuses who genetically altered him. They have a huge “lab” upstairs where they create all sorts of fantastical sci-fi goodies. They use Johnny as their lab rat. Yep, Johnny is their test subject - naturally with comedic disastrous results. Usually Johnny will cause the trouble himself by over-doing it, breaking the experiment or trying it out not as intended.

I love the show for a number of reasons. The character design, their personalities, the cleverness of the wild inventions, the homages/parodies…

As I said in the last post, I found the show on streaming Netflix and happily watched episode after episode. Though I knew I whittled away the ability to see new ones, I couldn’t help myself. I’d move on to the next one immediately. Even when just a few episodes remained to watch, and I knew I’d not have any more to see after that, I still went ahead and clicked the buttons. To give you some perspective, I watched three seasons of it pretty much over the course of two days.

Johnny Test has been “criticized” as a rip-off of another cartoon series called Dexter’s Laboratory. I can’t say for sure, as I’ve never seen it. I can see why someone might say so, however. The animation style is similar and just from the ads for it (or even just the title) it’s full of madcap experiments gone awry. So yeah, similar. But I have to say nothing I saw of Dexter drew me in to want to watch it. The minute I stumbled across Johnny, I had a new friend (so to speak.) However, even with the little I know, I wouldn’t call it a “rip-off” since there are many stories with similar ideas and themes. At worst I’d think Johnny Test to be a variation on Dexter’s Laboratory. And it at first glance it seems to be different enough, with its own set of indigenous siuations and characters.

Johnny Test is my wallpaper on both my phone and computer. I’m eagerly awaiting the 3 segments [each half hour episode has two different stories] I have not yet seen. You see, there is a current season still airing and are just those three that I haven’t seen. (Although it might just be one… I’m unable to tell from the online descriptions whether or not I saw two of them.) One day TiVo will pick them up. And fortunately for my sanity, a friend of Bart’s who works at Cartoon Network has said that the response to Johnny Test has been very positive — so more episodes are on the way, as well as some merchandising. (I’d been sad to see that no figures or video games had been made. Put me down for each of those when available.)

Just thought I’d give a “shout out” to it. Bravo to creator Scott Fellows.

I might be posting about Johnny Test again… after all, I’m obsessed, right? But seriously, there are a couple aspects of it that could be spoken about specifically — including a theory (or two) as to why I love it so much.

And I hope Scott Fellows and everyone else involved isn't angry at me for doing so, but I made a screen where Johnny is a fan of ME.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Queue It Up...NOW.

Very often I find myself on the fence about things.
Take “instant” for, er, instance.
What just prompted me is a message from Netflix telling me that a movie which is in our DVD Queue is now available to “Watch Instantly” (streamed to our TiVo.) So I can view it whenever I please.

It didn’t always work that way. Instantly. Lordy. I remember when being able to watch a movie had been an event. That’s right, an event. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz could only be seen once a year. If you missed it… you missed it. Your life stopped for it. “Can’t. Oz is on tonight.” True story: I believe it had been in my final year of middle school. A friend, KM, shocked us with a statement one day. The fateful day. KM said, “I’m going to skip The Wizard of Oz this year.” Honestly, it had been a proverbial bombshell. Purposely skip watching The Wizard of Oz? Unheard of! But KM meant it, delivering an explanation about growing up (in a healthy way, not in any sort of attack or derogatory remark about Oz) or some such thing… and we tried to talk him out of it. Unable to truly tear himself away, KM wound up watching large chunks of it, as I recall. And nowadays? You can watch it any night you like, as often as you like. Hell, you can even go directly to your favorite scene! Whereas before you had to time the replenishing of your drink and snacks within the commercial breaks.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great. But I just can’t help but feel like something is sorely lacking in terms of anticipatory glee in our lives. Another prime example is Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. The night Rudolph aired had been just as important as Xmas day itself! We’d check the TV Guide (we used the one that came with the Sunday newspaper) each week in December, knowing that one of them would be the big night. What a treat it had been! You also had to hunt for the “big” nights of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Charlie Brown Christmas. And now…you can just pop all of ‘em in for your own little Xmas special marathon.

Again, it’s not entirely without merit. I recently became hooked, okay, I’ll admit it, obsessed with a cartoon series. I came across it by chance (though I had heard of it before) and [ahem!] instantly fell in love with it. I knew I had to see more. Since our world is not only often “instant” but many times over-saturated, I set the TiVo to record episodes (of which about four played a day.) So I viewed more and loved it all the more with each episode. I soon learned Netflix streamed the first few seasons. Wowsers! That meant I could watch them ALL… I could feed my need, instantly. I liked being able to do that, certainly. But still, it deprives me of the pleasure of waiting for another episode. (Granted, it plays loads of times as I said, but just in general, it’s nice to have that build up.)

Yes, we still have that feeling to some degree. Whether it be waiting for a particular movie to arrive or even new episodes of our favorite TV shows. But still, chances are all the old episodes are available in an instant.

There used to be a time when one would carefully pick and choose what movies to go see in theater. Now the attitude is, “Looks good. I’ll catch it on video.” It must appear quite special or “worthy” of a big screen (of course, I also have one of those, too) …bigger screen.

It's not just TV and movies either. Our photos are instant. Even editable right there on the camera the instant after it's taken. Can you imagine having no idea if the picture "came out" at all until the glorious day when you received your envelope full of pictures? (Even that wait went from a week to a few days to "within an hour" ... good grief!)

So, not that it’s any great revelation, but it’s my two cents for the pile of regrets or sighing or embitterment or cocked head or whatever one wants to call it for the lost art of anticipation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Digging for More...

I suppose I should have seen this coming.
I really should have…
…but I didn’t.

Another movie adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island is on the way.
If you’re not already aware, Treasure Island is one of my favorite books. In my opinion, it’s one of the best books ever.

It’s not only a cherished favorite of mine, but Stevenson had been friends with Barrie. I’m sure I’ve mentioned that the stories of Peter Pan and Treasure Island are connected, on purpose. I even have my character Jeremy Strache adore the book in my novel What If It’s a Trick Question?

I’ll admit that the prospect of a Treasure Island done with the flair and caliber of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl is tempting. But do we really need another adaptation of it? That’s what some said about Hogan’s Peter Pan film. However, there’s a big difference. Before Hogan, no Pan film (other than silent) existed. According to Wikipedia, there are over 50 movie versions of Treasure Island. So why do it again? So that we CAN get the savvy treatment it might deserve? Okay, maybe…

…but then why do they have to go and say they want Long John Silver to be “hipper” and what does that even mean?

Disney already tried a “hip” version of Stevenson’s classic. It didn’t quite work. I can’t say I disliked Treasure Planet, but I certainly did not consider it good. Much to enjoy in it, sure, but overall they didn’t capture the essence of the book for me. Not by a longshot. They spent too much focus re-inventing it into a space theme. But I will say I loved their Jim Hawkins, which is saying a lot, since I love that young man to pieces.

Thus, I’m a little worried about this one… it will probably turn out to be an overt bastardization like the recent movie of Sherlock Holmes.

Oh well…

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Beyond the Words

Here's a progress report since the post Thanks and Thinkings:

The chance of my work Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between having a word count "betwixt-and-between" Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy has gone out the window! I have just passed the mark which would allow it to have such status. In fact, it will overshoot that mark by a large degree, as I had guessed.

The writing of it is going rather well. As usual, if not actually writing, I'm tinkering with or fleshing out scenes, doing research and setting the story up in my head. It's rather like a dance of those elements. And right now I'd been writing and looked down to realize I've surpassed the middle-ground word count.

The proper adventures on the island called the Neverland have just begun, so plenty of story remains to be written. Thus, it very well may be a novel rather than a novella. For as I said before, I also have to go back and expand the "placeholder" bits (i.e. the parts of the story where I've not composed the actual text but a quick runthrough of the events in order to be able to move on to a part that interests me more.) There are only about two of those at this point. But given all the rest of what's to come for Pan as well as those... it may reach the 50,000 milestone. For now, it remains to be seen.

But it is all coming together nicely. Rather than being just a partially written story idea I've had for some time now, I'm truly starting to feel as if I've sealed up the glaring gap in the life of Peter Pan.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Howling for Various Reasons...

I’ll take a werewolf over a vampire any day. Night?

So Universal’s remake of The Wolf Man is one of the few re-do’s that I’d looked forward to seeing. Not just because of my penchant for a lyncanthropic story, but it’s one of those few and far between movies which could really benefit from a remake.

Bart and I planned long in advance to go see it on Valentine’s Day… and we did.

But first, we had Netflix ship us the Lon Chaney original. Of course I’d seen it before… just a refresher so that I’d be better able to compare and contrast the two. Bart had seen most of it, but not all.

What we found is it definitely needed another go… I’d seen it a long time ago, so I had a different perspective on it this time around. It lacks, story-wise. A few missed opportunities such as delving more into what happened with Lawrence Talbot’s brother and/or the strained relationship with his father. Lawrence is actually a cad. Surely he’s meant to come across as suave and smooth. And it might have been so in 1941. But to us he didn’t seem likable at all.

We hoped they’d fix such issues in the new flick.

The new version, The Wolfman (note it’s now one word, which I liked, at the very least as a differentiating factor), is pretty good.

Bart says he received exactly what he wanted… a well shot, well acted, period piece fantasia.

Rick Baker, the special effects wizard who worked on a number of werewolf movies including the wonderful and acclaimed An American Werewolf in London, does another stellar job of a transformation sequences. And yet, I didn’t feel in awe of them. Don’t get me wrong…amazing work! But it didn’t feel fresh, either. Then again, how many ways can we portray a man turning into a wolf-creature? And I’ve seen a LOT of ‘em.

They did, actually, fix the parts of the story which we found lacking or unappealing. It’s much more atuned to the relationships. I’m just not so enthralled with what they did with them. Bart had been, with some very good insights as to what they wanted to achieve.

Watching the Wolfman run amok on all fours proved the best treat of all. (I’m not so fond of a Man Wolf [wherein the werewolf is more or less a human figure.]) They did a nice job of looking like the original Wolf Man, while convincingly updating it as well.

The look of it is to be commended. I thought so from the trailer and the movie did not disappoint in that regard. By which I mean it definitely has the feel and appearance of an old Universal monster flick - with the shadowy trees and fog. The colors are muted, so that it could almost pass for black and white.

I did however, think they missed the mark on the Gypsy Woman, Maleva. Geraldine Chaplain does a great job (and is a very nice choice) but she doesn’t really have much to do a great job with in this film. Maleva seems to be in it because she’d been in the original. I’ll spoil a minor part… the Gypsy Bela role is not in the remake. Thus, she doesn’t creepily go to the crypt and such. Oh sure, she has her own newly made scene instead. But she doesn’t feel like a major mysterious presence in this movie. Rather she’s like a tag along from the first movie.

So is the silver wolf-head cane. It’s there… but only because it’s from the first movie. In fact, Lawrence comes to his estate already with it, unlike the first movie where he buys it at a shop to hit on a young lady. To go against myself a little here (but not quite), I sort of liked that it merely makes an appearance in this film. It certainly isn’t central to the plot as it is in the original. What makes it curious is that at one point in the movie it certainly seems like they’re going to put it to use as in the original. But that moment never comes… hence my vague disenchantment for including it at all, then. However, the scene in which one would have thought the 1941 bit would resurface, I am much happier with the way it works out in the 2010 version. So I’m torn on the cane, you see.

And we all know the poem... "Even a man who is pure of heart And says his prayers at night... Can become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright." Yes, it's in the movie. At the very beginning. On a tombstone. And never heard of again. It, too, seems like it's included out out of expected necessity. Nothing more is made of it other than the sense of "HERE's the poem. HAPPY?"

There’s also a “twist” in this version. Again, I both liked and hated it. It factors nicely into Bart’s insight/interpretation of the themes of the story and the relationships, though, which makes me appreciate it a bit more. Okay, I didn't hate this twist, per se. I just thought it a little too gimmicky. But it's not as if it doesn't work.

So that’s pretty much it. Not perfect, no. But good fun.
And at least it doesn’t taint the original movie.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's All Greek

Cassidy sent me an IM, wondering why Bart's and my choice for a movie on Sunday hadn't been Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. She couldn't remember if I had some sort of issue with it. Understandable. I do have a magazine rack. I laughed, with the reply that I'd prefer to read the book before seeing the movie. Why haven't I read the book? Okay, admittedly slight embitterment. A little while back I'd suddenly found myself writing a Greco-Roman mythology story. Then a book with a similar idea (not Percy Jackson) caused me to shelve it for a while. I'll get back to it. I really like Baker Venator, the kid in the book. Plus I now know that my book tells a very different tale.

From what I know about Percy Jackson, I find it delightful. I'm excited to read it. The embitterment has long worn off. I either had other books that took precedence, or it fell off my radar. But I always meant to read it. Now, here it is the motion picture. And I still have yet to turn its pages. Well, I've been in a writing mode rather than a reading one lately. I've started and put down (not for lack of interest) a couple of books already... But you take the inspiration when it comes, that's a given. So write it is...

What a wonderful synchroniztion for a release date of a mythology movie. A weekend with a built in holiday featuring a mythological character. A movie with action and (it would seem from the trailer) a little hint of romance. Valentine's Day, thanks Eros/Cupid. Oooo.

Actually, interestingly enough, Eros/Cupid practically defies origin. Yes, there are references to it. But they're all conflicting. Yes, yes, mythology doesn't always match up from version to version or get altered in the Roman conversion. But the little cherub with the bow and arrow goes beyond those normal discrepencies. He can't even be pinned down to an age. Infant sometimes, strapping teen others. (At least I remember seeing as such when I'd been writing my urban mythology novel. I'm pleased with how Cupid turned out.)

So don't forget the romance of storytelling this holiday.

The photo is from Bart's collection taken in the British Museum during our trip to London.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not FULLer on Board...

Well, I stuck all the way until the end of this volume of Heroes.
I can’t say I enjoyed it. But I can’t say I absolutely hated it.

I believe I’ve said before how it just seemed to creep along at a lackadaisical pace with jolts of a very cool scene, event or twist. I had figured I’d just follow along, letting it dole out story as it saw fit.

Well, now that we’ve gotten to the end, I have to say I’m not so sure it had all been worth the erratic and annoying pacing. For the last few episodes ran very slowly, with a sudden urge to make the rest fly by because there'd been no time to finish... so we have out of the blue scenarios. Not necessarily outlandish, but noticeably quick when the rest had been at such an even keel. Not very well worked out across the arc of episodes.

As for the content of the episodes and what has happened with story… again, I don’t hate it. But it did turn a bit ridiculous or “too easy” from time to time. Not to mention I’d find myself internally screaming at the characters (and therefore the writers) to use an aspect of their super power that they seem to have forgotten. In their defense, one instance of that the character (Matt Parkman) did precisely what I suggested. Of course, Peter Petrelli had to come along and screw it up to flesh out a particularly lousy episode. I also must comment on how it worked out with Hiro’s “girlfriend” Charlie. I really wanted him to “pop out” and rescue her in the 1940’s and bring her back for a life with him — but how great a bittersweet turn that took! Which is: Charlie wound up with a whole life during the time she’d been away [in the past] and Hiro saving her would have negated all of it… up to and including her grandkids. Nicely done, to make Hiro see that he cannot have the world just the way he wants it to be [which had been one of the slow story arcs.] And don't get me started with Sylar... they kind of blew up my idea for an ending. (But then, one never knows...)

So… all in all, it certainly does not have the magic it once did. But at least I am willing to watch the next season. My guess is that without Bryan Fuller, the show suffers immensely. He has one of the wackiest imaginations out there. It’s a shame that more of his stuff such as Wonderfalls and Pushing Daisies (I have not yet seen Dead Like Me) don’t seem to find followings beyond a few wackos who appreciate the strange quirks of this talented guy. And yet, he obviously isn’t just wandering in a bizarre landscape (which it always seemed to me Chris Carter has done) but has a detailed map of it — able to channel and focus a crazed-out shenanigans show like Heroes into a poignant and thrilling heady adventure.

Bring on more, Bryan Fuller. Something will catch fire… and we’ll be waiting for it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is It Just Ima-gene-ary?

It's a little fitting that I have a Peter Pan obsession since I'm often told I look younger than I actually am. I've been presumed as much as 5 to 10 years less than my age. Sometimes I have to keep insisting due to disbelief.
Well, apparently, they now think they might know the cause. And it's science.

It's been dubbed the "Peter Pan Gene" which seems to control the rate at which people age. There's another gene that has to do with getting older. Some people have two of it, some one... and others are lucky enough to not have it at all, but instead this "youthful" gene... or maybe even two of it!

Supposedly this could lead to isolation of the inner workings of the gene and then on to drugs that can help turn back or halt the clock.

A little scary.

The article I read: Looking young for your age?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010

DISenchanted? Gracious No!

Well, if you haven't already heard, Disney is moving forward with a sequel to Enchanted.

I loved Enchanted, as is evident in this post. But even as much as I loved those characters and situations... I don't think I need more of them. Let it stay nicely packaged and pefect. It seems a shame to create more havoc for all the happy endings there, doesn't it?

But I'd love to be proven wrong in this case... perhaps it's of the Pixar caliber and they've been able to take it to the next logical level. They're striving to reassemble the original cast, so there's some hope. And after all, Giselle would want us to have hope!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Day for Pans (Again)

Not to be repetitive, but ditto on this post for today.
It's hard to believe he's 21, isn't it?
Now he's reached Michael Pan, too.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Well, I've been thwarted by Disney.

Production is underway for
Jake and the Never Land Pirates.

It's an animated show for preschoolers about the title character and his pirate friends who emphasize team work. They'll be outwitting Captain Hook and Smee. (Insert "SIGH" here.)

Once again Hook is made out to be a bumbler, which is a real pity. (Oh well, I guess there's something to be said about keeping consistent with their own version.)

One of the other pirate kids is named Cubby. Seriously, what is it with Disney and this name? ("Cubby" had been a Mousekeeter as well as the replacement name of one of the Lost Boys in their animated movies. [Curly])

It's not just the comedization [to coin a word] of Hook that is getting my goat... but the name Jake.

You see, that happens to be my favorite name and I am using it in Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between. And not for a minor character either. "My" Jake is a rather important boy who factors quite heavily into the riddle of Pan's past. WHY did they have to name THEIR character Jake in association with the Neverland?

So, I put forth to anyone who cares to comment (and please don't do so anonymously - be creative):
Should I be 'worried' about my character Jake in the Neverland being forever hereafter associated with this new Disney character?

[GEE, I love being paranoid!]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thanks and Thinkings

I may have already done so, but it bears repeating:

I want to thank those whose discussions, comments and/or "point outs" have helped in the writing of Peter Pan: Betwixt-and-Between.

Most notably are reader/commenter Anon and Andrea Jones, author of Hook & Jill.

Tidbits here and there have worked their way into story, making it not only better but much more exciting for me to compose.

Still going well. In fact, yesterday I had another instance of a scene appearing on the page for which I don't feel I may claim responsibility. Peter Pan and some fairies took hold of my pen (er... keyboard) and soon I had a fun incident with a great image, providing just what had been needed as a transition into the next part (where I did know what would happen.) I never tire of this phenomenon.

I've already exceeded the length of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (approx. 21,850 words.) I'm currently around 31,690 words. Since I've thrown out a set of characters and their scenes (which would only convolute the already fantastical tale) and I've gotten further along, I am wondering at what length this story will turn out to be. I don't have a sense of that yet - especially when the characters are taking the reins! I did have this thought, though: Perhaps it shoud be a word count which would be (ahem!) betwixt-and-between Barrie's two tales about Pan. Peter and Wendy weighs in at circa 47,190. The median would then be (Good grief! Math! Argh!) 34,520. Well, the dream of it being exactly in-between lengths must vanish, for I don't feel as if I can tell the rest of this story in only 3000 words. But I shall at least try to keep it under Peter and Wendy. Then again, that would technically classify it as a novella. Not that it matters, as Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens is a novella (when dealt with separately from The Little White Bird.) Just a lame lament that it wouldn't actually be a "book." I'll just keep going, and see what happens...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Excitement Overshadowed


Uh... wait, should we even be excited?

Is this not one of the strangest "celebrations" ever?

My mother always asked how it could NOT see its shadow what with all the media lights and circus surrounding it, to say nothing of being scared back into its burrow regardless of catching sight of it. And me? I'd always thought how ridiculous it all seemed, especially when the groundhog most likely must be roused for the occasion (i.e. as if it acutally awoke on that date every year like clockwork [especially when the calendar is screwy anyway].)

Are we this desperate for entertainment or for the Winter to end?

Talk about concocting stories, eh?

Groundhog Day Wiki [Be sure to scroll down to "Groundhog Day in popular culture"]

Now... where else have I seen a shadow playing a major part in a story? ;)