Making 'Movie Memories' in Chi-Town

I'll never think of Chicago and its metro area as The Windy City, Second City or Chi-Town again. From now on, Chicago is where Movie Memories with Larry Ratliff goes national. Thanks to Covenant Retirement Communities' Marisa Crean, senior marketing project manager, and longtime friend and former colleague Randy Eilts, Covenant's director of public relations and communications, I'll be performing two Movie Memories presentations in mid-August. Those of you familiar with my Movie Memories presentations know there are more than two dozen to choose from. Working closely with decision makers at Covenant Village of Northbrook in Northbrook, Ill. and Windsor... Read more

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24 April 2018

The play-by-play's the thing

With apologies to the Beatles:

It was 50 years ago today
Professor Mercer taught the band to play-by-play

Mercer and me300

Two days have passed, and I still can't get over the fact that legendary sportscaster Bill Mercer sent an invite to join him for lunch to me and about 20 others from his 35-plus-year University of North Texas (UNT) broadcasting and sportscasting teaching span.

Mercer is famous in the sports world for wrapping his feet with plastic wrap in an attempt to stay warm enough to call the famous “Ice Bowl” NFL championship game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in 1967, not to mention the Cowboys first two Super Bowl appearances.  He was in the booth when the Texas Rangers set up shop in Arlington and those slightly long of tooth will recall Mercer at the mic when "Studio Wrestling," taken seriously by many back in the 1960s or so, was taped before a small audience in the KRLD-TV (now KDFW) studios.

His credits are too numerous to mention.  Suffice it to say that the Texas Pro Baseball Hall of Fame, Texas Radio Hall of Fame and Dallas Press Club “Living Legend of North Texas Journalism” member who shared the broadcast booth with Don Drysdale when the Texas Rangers first hit the field was/is larger than life.

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12 October 2017

The thrill of the (Harbor) Chase

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Making Movie Memories with (from left) Bridgette, Lisa and Glenda from HarborChase of the Park Cities.

I was humbled to be asked by Bridgette Walshe, executive director of HarborChase of the Park Cities, to present my "Life Lessons I've Learned at the Movies" Movie Memories presentation Tuesday afternoon at the historic Highland Park Village Theater in the trendy Park Cities area of Dallas near the George W. Bush Presidential Center and Southern Methodist University.

It's always a little special when I speak about the magic of the movies and my adventures interviewing internationally famous movie stars like Tom Hanks and Shirley MacLaine (just to namedrop a couple) and see the presentation spring to life on a huge movie theater screen.

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18 September 2017

Destiny's child -- The other one

I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. -- Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks)

Baby300Looking for treasures?  You might try the garage.

You know, lurking in those musty boxes weakened by time and multiple relocations over two or three decades

Digging through way too many of those boxes to admit we even had over the weekend in preparation for an upcoming garage sale, we came across my birth announcement from way back in 19-something or other.

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05 September 2017

Who's your 'Mother!'

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Jennifer Lawrence as the title character in "Mother!" (Courtesy: geektyrant.com)

Generally speaking, horror-thrillers come and go these days without much interest from this aisle seat.

Until now.

Mother!, written and directed by Oscar-nominated Darren Aronofsky, is the exception.  Simply put, Aronofsky, whose Academy Award nomination came for calling the shots and putting Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis on their toes as driven ballet dancers in  Black Swan (2010), knows how to creep us out.

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21 August 2017

R.I.P. -- Bob Polunsky

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Bob Polunsky (Courtesy: www.pinterest.com)

As far as I know, longtime San Antonio film critic Bob Polunsky was never a "Robert."

Bob, who died at 85 this week in San Antonio, Texas, was just Bob, a kindred spirit in the love and appreciation of any film really worth watching.  He was also never shy about condemning a flawed movie for its shortcomings in a Bob Polunsky style dubbed "Flicker Footnotes."  Bob's reviews were direct and sometimes ruthless but always honest.

Bob was well established as The Guy when it came to film criticism in San Antonio when I arrived in 1983.  Bob wrote for the Express-News daily newspaper.  After a year of general entertainment reporting at the other daily newspaper in town, the now-dark San Antonio Light, I became "that other film critic in town."

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