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The Casserole Club Offers up Lessons Beyond Baking #GBE2 #NaBloPoMo #Indiefilm


Steve Balderson's “The Casserole Club” starts off in an entertaining fashion, as the characters seemed to be all about partying, eating and getting drunk. After Sugar proposes a harmless competition between her friends and neighbors on who makes the best casserole, this devoted hostess learns that she may have bit off more than she can pun intended.

The dinner parties lead to married couples swapping more than recipes, which may seem controversial for that time.....or maybe not; Isn’t the 60s all about hippies and their “free love” spirit? The loose behavior of these movie characters, however, is nothing compared to the troubles that each husband and wife are dealing with behind closed doors when the party is over and everyone has gone home.

The Casserole Club” is funny while there are also some sympathetic moments for characters whose struggles with insecurity, trust, being unsatisfied and more eventually get the best of them. There is a defining moment for each couple where they change for the better or worse, except for one marriage that appears to be the example of what balance and happiness look like when the husband and wife truly love each other and accept each other for who they are.

The casting and use of the cast is one of the best aspects of “The Casserole Club” that I enjoyed because all of the characters are memorable. There is no one character that steals the show , making even the smallest of roles noticeable, so everyone shines in this movie.

I was particularly delighted with Susan Traylor as Sugar while Kevin Richardson’s brutal performance as Conrad surprised me. His character is self-destructive and crass, which makes him unlikeable....especially since Conrad treats his friends better than his wife, Sugar. I remember Traylor from “Stuck” and her performance in “The Casserole Club” reminded me why I like her. She turns her characters into people that the audience can relate to because they aren’t too wild, too outgoing or too shy either. Traylor is like the every-woman of actresses.

Garrett Swann’s character Sterling seemed to have more depth than that of his wife Kitty (played by Starina Johnson), but they both work well as a couple. Florene and Burt are the two that others should envy, since they seem to have the magic for maintaining a fulfilling marriage. The other couples seem to be in fully functional marriages that are great for show but still have missing pieces that may eventually destroy them.

Maybe the casseroles are symbolic for filling a void in the lives of these characters. Maybe the physical aspects of their dinner parties give them some type of temporary freedom and joy that they are not getting at home or in life. Or, maybe “The Casserole Club” is a vehicle that forces the audience to take a look at themselves, their views about marriage, friendship, children and personal struggles and realize that change happens and you can either adapt or not but one thing is for can’t eat, drink or screw your problems away. In fact, the problems may get worse. Either way, even if none of these apply.....the story works and will have you laughing, cheering, toasting (if you have some drinks while watching this movie) and wanting to smack someone, or two.

“The Casserole Club” is a must-see movie. It is entertaining, fun and sexy with neighbors that are unlike any that you may have seen in a very long time.

Watch the Trailer:

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A Harry Potter Challenge Question #NaBloPoMo #NowPlaying #HP7


Since today marks the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 as well as the end of the Harry Potter film franchise, I’m taking the liberty of showing Mr. Potter and his magical crew some love. If you are a fan of Harry Potter and/or his films, let’s participate in Heck Yeah’s 15 Day Harry Potter Challenge. The 15th question in this challenge is "Would you have joined Dumbledore’s army?” and after watching all six of the Harry Potter movies that have been released up until today, here is my answer.


Yes, I would have joined Dumbledore’s army because the more preparation, skills, knowledge and practice that people have to protect and defend themselves against the dark world, the better off they will be. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be among a group of people who share resources, help each other perfect their defense techniques while also teaching them new skills in the process?

It would be silly for me to turn down such an opportunity.....especially with all that has been at stake with Harry Potter and Hogwarts.

Would YOU have joined Dumbledore's Army?

Also, I'm nominating Ron Weasly for next month's king dong spot since he is my favorite Harry Potter character. Maybe he'll win or maybe he won't but I'm taking this moment to put a bid in for him!

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The Hollywood Director's Connection to Michael Jackson, continued... #NaBloPoMo


Michael Jackson's connection to movie directors are far, long and global. While film directors dominated Michael Jackson’s music video collection, the iconic singer also worked with several regular music video directors who helped him bring his songs to life on the small screen. Here are some of those directors.

Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror" music video was directed and edited by Don Wilson (editing too? Wilson's got Talent!). Wilson also works in Television, directing reality shows including Hitched or Ditched (Premiered in the Summer of 2009) and The Swan as well as documentaries. He also works on movie trailers.


In an American Pop Culture interview, Wilson describes the decision to not use Michael Jackson in the music video by saying "the lyrics really dictated the content" and even mentioned a remake of "Man in the Mirror" that was close to developing until Jackson's sudden death recently.

Bruce Gowers who directed "Rock with You" has done work in other music videos and television.


Paul Hunter lent his directing services to Michael Jackson for "You Rock my World" starring actor, Marlon Brando and comedian, Chris Tucker.

Wayne Isham directed the "You Are Not Alone" music video by Michael Jackson. Music videos seem to be Isham's specialty.

Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" was directed by Nick Saxton. Who knows what Saxton is doing now? He doesn't seem to have any new credit listings, as the information comes to a halt after the early 90s. Maybe he started producing music videos instead of directing, but whatever.

This post is part of the Michael Jackson music video series on the Madlab Post. Here are the previous posts in the series:

Movie Directors Dominate Michael Jackson's Video Collection

More Michael Jackson Videos with Big Screen Support

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