Blogathon: Houdini’s Magic Ticket

Top 10 Films has got its hands on a magic ticket that can transport you into any film you wish. Find out what happened when I, along with a few friends, went into the movies.

houdini magic ticket, blogathon, last action hero,

1993 was the year John McTiernan released Last Action Hero. It was a big-budget film that was widely panned by critics despite audiences loving it. Although it made over $130 million at the box office it could have made more had it not been released in conjunction with box office smash Jurassic Park.

The crux of the story hinges on a magic ticket that a young boy uses to magically transport himself inside his favourite film. Suddenly the film fanatic teenager is starring alongside his most-loved film star Jack Slater – played by Arnold Schwarzenegger who essentially parodies his own star persona. But the film is real -sort of – the bullets hurt, the car chases induce travel sickness and Sly Stallone is The Terminator. But there’s something gloriously magical about this world. I think that has something to do with every single woman being drop dead gorgeous and the fact our intrepid hero can get blown up and still walk away without a limp.

It got me thinking about the magic ticket and what adventures you could have in other films. What if there was a magic ticket that could transport you into your favourite film? What film would I choose?

Then I got greedy. I decided to use Houdini’s Magic Ticket more than once. Join me and a few friends as we travel inside our favourite films.

I first jumped on the Columbia Airlines Flight 409, a Boeing 747 en route from Washington Dulles International to Los Angeles International in the film Airport. Probably not the best idea since a mad man plans to blow the aircraft up but while we are still airborne, I decided to bring with me a character from another film to keep me company.

What character would I most like to be sat next to on a plane…

ghostbusters, planes, trains and automobiles,
You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut…

Raymond Stanz because I know he’d have some great stories to tell of ghostly goings on and paranormal activity. Only thing was, after I left my seat for a short toilet break, I met Del Griffith who proceeded to sell me, over a conversation lasting a number of hours, £100 worth of shower curtain rings. I then fell asleep, or rather, was knocked unconscious by the smell of his feet when he released them from the two-day old socks he was wearing.

What character would I most want to enjoy a passionate romance with?

fatal attraction,
…look at that smile…

After hopping out of Airport after a good ol’ catch-up with one of the Ghostbusters (and a very good nap – thank you Del), I decided to meet up with Alex Forrest for a passionate romance. Somebody should have warned me though – having only ever seen the first thirty minutes of Fatal Attraction I was in for a BIG surprise!

If I were a cop who would I want as my partner?

robocop, film,
…Come quietly or there will be… trouble…

I made my getaway with all limbs intact but I couldn’t do anything for the rabbit – which I enjoyed as part of a light supper with the Gallagher family. It was finally time for some bullet-flying action so I jumped into Robocop as he’s the only guy I could envisage for a partner if I were a cop. The indestructible Robocop is the only police officer you could hide behind in a fire fight and know you’ll both survive. It did get problematic at lunchtime – I wanted McDonald’s, he wanted to pop to Marks and Sparks for gourmet baby food.

What animated feature would I love to walk around in?

beauty and the beast,
Substitute the library of literature for a DVD collection!

Beauty and the Beast…I can imagine that ten-storey high library being my DVD collection. But then there’s the songs…and the dancing…and the talking cutlery!

What adventure based on earth would I most like to go on?

stand by me, film,
…Do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?

This is an easy one. I joined Gordie, Vern, Chris and Teddy for a long and tiring journey to find a dead body in Stand By Me. There was singing, there was joke-telling, there was reminiscing, and there was storytelling.

What adventure based in an otherworldly, fantasy-based location would I most like to go on?

honey I shrunk the kids,
When we crashed, my entire life flashed before my eyes. It didn’t take too long.

After such a tiring journey in Stand By Me – I was on my feet for days, I decided, since I was in mucky, three-day old clothes to join the Szalinski and Thompson kids for their heroic journey from the back of their garden to their door in Honey I Shrunk the Kids. I can confirm that being miniaturised is a lot of fun – some of the time.

What movie gadget would I love to try out (or steal)?

weird science, back to the future,
…You made Kelly LeBrock…out of a DeLorean..!

With a magic ticket such as this I had to meet one of my all time favourite characters – Doc Brown. So that’s what I did – he’s a great guy and Einstein is a lovely dog. But our conversation got caught short thanks to a bunch of guys with automatic weapons. So I jumped in the DeLorean and took it for a spin. Time travel is awesome!

…but I had other ideas about film gadgets so I took the DeLorean back to 1985 just in time to save Doc Brown’s life, which he was very appreciative of, and went off to steal Wyatt and Gary’s computer from Weird Science. Whatever divine intervention caused their Commodore 64 to produce the stunning Kelly LeBrock from Wyatt’s en suite bathroom was something definitely worth trying!

What film’s plot would I alter and how would I do it?

aliens, top gun, terminator,
…Save the clock tower…and Goose, Hudson and Kyle Reese…

There was one thing on my mind with this task – save as many as you can! I wanted to rush into Saving Private Ryan and save John Miller from being shot, Mellish from getting a knife agonisingly pushed into his chest, and Jackson from getting blown up in the clock tower but I did an Upham and ended up cowering behind a cappuccino-making machine. Damn my lack of courage.

Thankfully that didn’t hinder my attempt to save the one man everyone hopes never dies. Oh yes, I went over to the Top Gun school in Miramar. I borrowed a gun and shot Goose in the leg while he was singing You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling. Yes, it hurt him, and yes, I was arrested but he never got on that ill-fated flight with Maverick and ended up becoming one of the US Navy’s best and most decorated fighter pilots. He is still with his wife Carole and they now have eight children!

Before I could move on to the next task I had to save two lives that I’ve always wanted to save. I decided, against my better judgment to head into Aliens. I spiked Hudson’s drink before he left for the planet of LV-426 meaning he was too ill to fly. He had to stay on board the ship and therefore was never killed by the alien that unfairly came up through the floor. I unfortunately was made to take his place on the rescue mission – I really wish I hadn’t done this one.

While I was there I couldn’t help thinking of Corporal Dwayne Hicks. Although he survives the film I knew what I had to do. To The Terminator I went to save the life of Kyle Reese!

What one film would I most want to be transported into, simply to be a part of that world?

the goonies, adventure,
In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max’s toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play.

There are so many films that I’d love to be transported into but the fun The Goonies have looks like a day and a half worth living.

Written by Daniel Stephens

And now let us see what everyone else did with their magic tickets…

Rodney at Fernby Films
Claire at Cinematic Delights
Marc at Go See Talk
Ruth at Flixchatter
Andina at Inspired Ground
Iba at I Luv Cinema
Novia at Polychrome Interest
Terri at Goregirl’s Dungeon
Sherry at A Restless Moment
Stella at Byrneholics
Fitz at Nevermind Pop Films
Max at Impassioned Cinema
Terrence at Scarlet Sp1der’s Blog
Paolo at Okinawa Assault
Nostra at My Film Views
Mette at Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions
Castor at Anomalous Material
Joel Burman at Deny Everything
Tyler at Southern Vision
Alyson at The Best Picture Project
George at The Droid You’re Looking For
Jessica at The Velvet Cafe
Scott at Front Room Cinema
S.J. Honeywell at 1001plus
Leopard13 at It Rains…You Get Wet
Mike at Grab Bag Cinema
Alex Thompson at Benefits of a Classical Education
Lisa at Lisa Thatcher
Barbra at Barbra Writes: A Daily Dose of the Sensual Life
Caz at Let’s Go To The Movies
Nick at Cinema Romantico
Wulan at Nerd in Writing
Corey at JustAtad
Diana at Aziza’s Picks
Abdullah at The Wet Puddle
Louise at Louise Reviews
Yvette at In So Many Words
My Wife, My Sister-in-Law and Steph (a special post in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust)

…if you’d like to join in simply leave your link in the comments section below and I’ll add you to the list.

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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  1. Rodney Reply

    Damn. I forgot about Robocop. He’d make an awesome partner….

  2. Dan Reply

    Sorry about the belatedness of the hosting page…I have been tinkering with the post this morning…which led into the afternoon.

    Max, I have added your post to the links! Thanks for participating! ;)

    …and Rodney, I realise you were way ahead of the game being down under…apologies…but let the fun start now! ;)

  3. Dan Reply

    …or is it bedtime down there! ;)

  4. Rodney Reply

    It’s 0030 down here at the moment. Waaaay past my bedtime just to join in the fun. Yeah, I’ve had my post up all day, because I’m about 12 hours ahead of you guys in the UK! LOL!!. Oh well, all the links seem to be working fine now!

    I’m off to bed, but I’ll be returning in the morning and having more of a read!!

    Everyone’s done such a great job!

  5. Rodney Reply

    and by 0030, i mean 12.30am, the day after the 22nd. ;)

  6. TheScarletSp1der Reply

    haha. I had Robocop, but right before i published mine I decided to peek over here…and you beat me to it, Dan! So…I switched it up! LOL

    Here’s mine! http://wp.me/pWaTa-1AR

  7. Andina Reply

    If you have Robocop by your side, no one would ever come near you! :) Cool choices. I thought those questions meant for digging our choices only. But it’s okay.
    Beauty and The Beast is an interesting choice. It’s funny, it seems like a wonderful movie that I want to see as a kid, but I really haven’t.

  8. Novroz Reply

    WOw…Robocop!! That is a super awesome partner!! I completely forgot about him.

    Hmmm…changing that ending in SPR would be great…I hate that Upham guy.

    You have such fun answers Dan.

    PS. I missed read the first question…I thought a Place not Plane ;)

  9. iluvcinema Reply

    I thought hard about Robocop but decided at the 11th to go with Hot Fuzz guy.

    Good call on saving those folks from Aliens. I was to gutted when “stop your grinning and drop your linen” Hudson bought it.

  10. Dan Reply

    @Novroz: Sorry about that the misreading of the question. It was my fault – by mistake I originally wrote “Place” not “Plane”! But they both work! ;)

  11. ruth Reply

    Thanks for inviting me to join, Dan, it’s a lot of fun doing it and reading others’ posts.

    Robocop, good one! But man, you REALLY want to have an affair w/ Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction?? Well I sure hope you know a bit of martial arts and that you don’t have a pet you love dearly, ahah.

    Oh, and I’d love to walk around Beast’s castle as well, but I went with another Disney classic.

  12. ruth Reply

    Btw, you might want to correct the URL to Claire’s post, it’s supposed to go here: http://clairepacker.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/houdini-magic-ticket/

  13. Goregirl Reply

    I gave you a link for the draft and it is bunk…this works…
    http://goregirl.wordpress.com/2011/10/22/houdinis-magic-ticket-blog-a-thon/
    Cheers,
    GG

  14. Nostra Reply

    Great lists, might do one myself soon as I watched Last Action Hero last week I was already asking this question too! Were you also inspired by the article about the movie in Empire?

    Wow, seeing that picture of Kelly LeBrock, she really looks hot there and can remember seeing this movie for the first time. Maybe she would have to be my choice for that passionate night ;)

  15. Rodney Reply

    There’s some awesome posts on this subject! This blog-a-thon is a great idea, Dan!

  16. Sherry Reply

    Hey Dan, it looks like I would be running into you at the Enchanted Castle because I chose Beauty and the Beast for my animated movie too. However, I would not want to replace all the books with DVDs, so maybe there’s a section of books for me and a secion of DVDs for you. Anyway, this was a great blog-a-thon and I had fun writing for it and now I’m having fun reading everyone else’s posts.

  17. Dan Reply

    @Ruth and Goregirl: I’ve corrected those links now. Thanks! ;)

  18. Dan Reply

    @Ruth: …haha – Yes, Alex Forrest – it was fatal attraction at first sight! Unfortunately, I wasn’t in time to save the bunny! ;)

  19. DEZMOND Reply

    nice list, Dan! I think that for me most of the answers would include LORD OF THE RINGS :) I would just love being in that world, hanging with those people, living, sleeping, eating,breathing there … especially Lotlorien and other Elven kingdoms! I don’t think I’d ever leave that world.
    And I would never want to end up in the psychotic world of Tarsem’s THE CELL, the sleep part one :)That one is the scariest ever!

  20. Dan Reply

    @TheScarletSp1der: Good choice for cop partner anyway! I’m suprised no one else went with Robocop. John McClane seems to be a popular one.

    @Andina: You must see Beauty and the Beast, it is one of Disney’s best in my opinion.

    @Novroz: Thank you, Robocop is great. If you run out of bullets he’s a human shield! ;)

    @iluvcinema: I wish I could have saved all the marines from Aliens! ;)

    @Nostra: Go on, give it a go… ;)

    @Sherry: See you at the enchanted castle!

    @Dezmond: I think Lord of the Rings is a popular choice. Harry Potter isn’t far behind either.

  21. Max Reply

    Thanks for hosting the blog-a-thon Dan! Let’s do another one soon. This was a lot of fun seeing all of my fellow bloggers picks.

  22. TheScarletSp1der Reply

    I agree with Max, Dan! Thanks so much. This was so much fun to do! and seeing everyone else’s picks has been the best part!

  23. Scott Reply

    I am truly hanging my head in shame about not making this. Sorry Dan…I SuXXoRs

  24. Dan Reply

    @Nostra: I’ve added the link. Some great choices by the way – I love the picture of the DeLorean!

  25. Mette Reply
  26. Joel Burman Reply

    Great idea for a meme I decided to throw one together myself.

    http://www.joelburman.com/2011/10/houdinis-magic-ticket-blogathon/

  27. Dan Reply

    @Castor, @Mette and @Joel: Hi guys, thanks for taking part. Will head on over to have a look now! :)

  28. Stella Kuru Reply

    Thanks for providing us with this great challenge, Dan! I had a blast and I only wrote about ONE film. ;-) I’m just now reading everyone’s entries (terrible weekend and rotten Monday in the office) and commenting. This was the coolest Blogathon idea. Thanks!

  29. Rodney Reply

    Damn Dan, there’s some awesome work going on across the blogosphere with this concept! Well done for getting it started!

  30. Dan Reply

    @Alyson, @Jessica, @SJHoneywell: Thanks for taking part and writing such wonderful entries. It has been so much fun reading such creative articles.

    @Stella: Thanks for taking part Stella. I can imagine other fans of actors wanting to use their magical ticket to visit/interact with that actors most famous characters.

  31. le0pard13 Reply

    An inspired meme, Dan! Wonderfully fun answers, too. Although, I’d have shot Goose in the leg because he was singing You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling ;-). Anyway, here is my holiday take on your meme. Many thanks.

  32. Dan Reply

    I should say, given my romantic entanglement with Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction and an inherent love of Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science that, considering the time period and the inevitable hair frizz that I have a penchant for that 1980s look! But I’d like to make it clear that I’m not in favour of the style coming back into fashion. Just a coincidence, that’s all! LOL! ;)

    @le0pard13: Great stuff, I’ve added your link to the post above. Thanks for taking part and for creating a wonderful, seasonal entry.

  33. MikeGrabBagCinema Reply

    Just a few days late to the party here. This was a lot of fun to think about and write. Here is the link to the post on my site.

    http://www.grabbagcinema.com/?p=2512

  34. Lisa Thatcher Reply

    I loved your list, and i had such a great time working my way through all the other lists that I made my own.
    This was so great.
    thanks for the fun!
    Lisa
    http://lisathatcher.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/top-ten-films-blog-a-thon/

  35. Barbra Novac Reply

    Hey thanks for this – lots of fun.
    I really liekd your robo-cop choice and had to think hard to come up with something different.
    I did though – and mine is a little bit ‘naughty’.
    :)
    http://barbrawrites.blogspot.com/2011/10/top-ten-films-blog-thon.html

  36. Diana Reply

    Hey, I love your idea! Can I join the party if I post it on Friday or Saturday? I’ll come back with a link if possible!

  37. Dan Reply

    @Diana: Of course, just send me the link or post it here and I’ll add it to the page above. Looking forward to it.

    @Barbra and @Lisa: Thanks for joining in with this one. I will be checking out your posts later today. I’ve added you to the list above.

    …there will be prizes for best answers coming up next month!

    …I’ve also realised that some links were going into my spam filter – over the past two days I’ve merrily deleted all spam without checking to see if any was actually legitimate. If I’m not linking to you above, please post a comment or email me to let me know and I’ll sort it out. As I say, prizes for BEST answers next month, so if you’ve used Houdini’s Magic Ticket, you MUST let me know! ;)

  38. Nick Reply

    Hey Dan, so ridiculously late to the party (somehow this brilliant event escaped my mind) but it’s such a great idea I had to join in anyway: http://cinemaromantico.blogspot.com/2011/10/houdinis-magic-ticket-blogathon.html.

    And I could never hope to adequately express my appreciation that you would shoot Goose in the leg and allow he and Carol to live together forever. Oh, what a magnificent alternate ending that would be.

  39. Corey Atad Reply

    This is an awesome idea. I love your choices. I also did my own entry, which you can find here:

    http://justatad.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/houdinis-magic-movie-ticket/

  40. Dan Reply

    @Nick: …Haha…Ever since first seeing Top Gun I’ve always thought – does Goose really have to die? It was great to give him and his wife the chance for a long and happy life together. :)

  41. Diana Reply

    There you go, here is my link. Sorry for the delay http://azizaspicks.blogspot.com/2011/10/houdinis-magic-ticket.html

  42. Dan Reply

    @Diana: Great choices Diana – glad we can both enjoy Beauty and the Beast and the Delorean!

  43. Abdullah Reply

    Can I still take a part? I know I’m EXTREMELY late but still …
    http://thewetpuddle.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/my-answers-to-the-houdini%E2%80%99s-magic-ticket-blog-a-thon/

    Great Idea by the way! :D

  44. Dan Reply

    @Abdullah: Not too late at all. Thanks for joining in. :)

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  46. Dan Grant Reply

    WOA!!! How did I miss this one before? This might be my favourite top 10 list ever. I love the passion and creativeness of this. Very nicely done. I’ll have to think of some of mine. But I can tell you for sure I’d love to save Hudson as well and I’d like to be the sixth member of the Breakfast Club.

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