Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label passing. Show all posts

Sunday, November 8, 2015

George Barris Merges With The Infinite

A quick note to mark the passing of George Barris.  He's a designer of hotrods and cars for movies and TV, not the least of which was the classic TV Batmobile, literally my favorite car in all of TV and movies (but a close tie with the Enterprise, X-Wing and Millennium Falcon for favorite vehicle).

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Today Marks the 22nd Anniversary of the Passing of Vincent Price

JimD reminds me that today marks the anniversary of the passing of Vincent Prince.  The actor lived from 1911 to October 25th, 1993.

The more movies I see, the more I'd want Vincent Price as one of my guests at the table in that game where you imagine your fantasy dinner.   He just seems like a heck of a guy.

I really like how Price not only embraced his transition from handsome young man to Master of Horror, with enthusiastic good humor in interviews and whatnot, and retaining a level of class you don't find often in Hollywood.

And, hey, he made so many good movies.  I will need to bust open the box-set I picked up earlier this year and watch a few more during this spooky week.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Maureen O'Hara Merges With The Infinite

Several news sources are reporting the passing of actress Maureen O'Hara.

O'Hara starred in movies from the closing of Hollywood's Golden Age to the modern era, playing the leading lady in some fantastic movies across a wide range of genres.  

  • Esmerelda in the 1939 vcrsion of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Doris in Miracle on 34th Street
  • Kathleen in Rio Grande
  • Angharad in How Green Was My Valley
  • "Spitfire" Stevens in Against All Flags
  • Mary Kate Danaher in The Quiet Man
  • Maggie in The Parent Trap

to name a very few.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bevo XIV Merges With The Infinite

The beloved mascot of the University of Texas, Bevo XIV, has passed.

The University of Texas has had a Longhorn Steer as its mascot for about 100 years, back when it was hilarious to bring a steer to a football game.  And, hey, it still is.

The name of "Bevo" is somewhat shrouded in legend and mystery, referring to a brand of near-beer popular in the early 20th Century, and there's a very complex story about Texas A&M kidnapping the steer back when he was named "Bo" and branding the score "13-0" on his side, which was changed to "BEvO".  I dunno.  It's possibly apocryphal, but I'm not one to fight the legend.

This Bevo has been around for a while.  I believe he was in place way back when we won the National Championship, but I'd have to check.  He's been a good steer.  And, unlike the first Bevo, we won't eat this one (Texas is a hard place, man).

Usually, Bevo hangs out in a sort of open pen on the sideline, drugged just enough (I assume) so he doesn't flip out when the Cowboys spirit group fire off "Old Smokey", the cannon that goes off every time we score.  Secretly, I always want to see Bevo rush the field and clear the whole area, but he's always pretty mellow.

Animal mascots don't last forever.  Texas A&M has Reveille, their cute little dog, and Baylor used to bring a baby bear to games in the 90's (I'm not sure if that's still something they do, but a bear lives on campus).  And A&M has taken exceedingly good care of all their Collie dogs.  But you need to have the character that bridges those generational, animal mascots and be a cartoon.  So, we also have Hook 'Em, which is what you call the character mascot who runs around in a costume whooping it up.  I like both.

We'll miss you, Bevo XIV, but we also know you lived literally the best life a longhorn steer is going to in this world or any other.  We appreciated your service.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jack Larson, TV's Jimmy Olsen, Merges With The Infinite

The Signal Watch is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jack Larson, who played Jimmy Olsen on the 1950's television series, The Adventures of Superman (1952-1958).

Over six seasons, Jack played the young Daily Planet reporter, leading to such a spike in Olsen's popularity that the character spun out of second-banana obscurity and landed his own comic book, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, that ran from 1954-1974.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wes Craven Merges With The Infinite

The thing about being my age is that so many of the names we grew up with, who were just doing amazing work during my youth, are beginning to pass.

My social media is flooded with the news that writer/ director/ producer Wes Craven has passed at the age of 76.

If you grew up in the era I did, you saw Wes Craven movies one way or another.  Most famous of his movies, likely, is A Nightmare on Elm Street, something I was already planning to re-watch this Halloween and now have a moral obligation to take in.

He also brought us The Hills Have Eyes, Swamp Thing, The People Under the Stairs and Scream.

Here's my film-school story about Scream.

JAL managed a theater when we were in college.  They were showing Scream after they wrapped the rest of the movies in that theater.  It was all the way across town, and I don't really like horror movies, and I was just feeling cranky, and, etc....

JAL:  Do you want to see Scream tonight at the tech screening?
Me:  Man, I don't want to see that movie.  It's just some slasher shit, and it's going to be a total hassle.
JAL:  Wes Craven directed it.
Me:  What time does it start?

We'll miss you, Wes.  You were one of the good ones.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Rowdy Roddy Piper Merges With The Infinite

just look at that magnificent bastard

Working a crowd isn't easy, especially doing so as the bad guy.  But, man, somehow Rowdy Roddy Piper became not the villain people loved to hate - people just plain ol' loved him.

I don't follow wrestling now at all, and my window of interest when I was a kid was pretty narrow, so my viewership occurred primarily during that early 1980's window where the WWF was suddenly everywhere, and you had colorful characters like Jimmy "SuperFly" Snuka, George "The Animal" Steele, Mr. Fuji, the Iron Shiek, Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan.

At age 8, I liked it a lot.  The plots were straightforward.  Mean Gene Okerlund had a cool, dry wit we all admired, and it was a lot like watching live-action comics, but only as complicated as the Hostess ads.  There were good guys and bad guys, and sometimes they switched.

Among the wrestlers I liked, I counted Rowdy Roddy Piper.  That guy had moxie.  He was hilarious, he didn't take anyone seriously, and he was just fun to watch.  I just assumed because I liked him he was a good guy who happened to talk trash or something.  He had a kilt, bagpipes, and a mouth that didn't really stop.  But, no, he was a bad guy.

In fact, his gig was more or less that he was the biggest SOB in wrestling, pretty keen with an insult or gag or low-blow.  All with a cocksure attitude backed up with wins, and a fanbase that adored the act.  The clips you watch now are, uh... un-PC, to put it mildly.  But he didn't need to be un-PC, he just needed to be a needling jerk.

In fact, he's been voted the best "heel" in wrestling multiple times.

That, my friends, is the sort of life goal I aspire to.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

James Horner Merges With The Infinite

I don't need to tell anyone who follows this site how important music is to a movie.  You guys know.  And I know I don't need to tell you how important James Horner was to movies of the last few decades.  The man's IMDB page reads like a list of movies we've all seen in the theater since we were kids.

Tragically, Horner seems to have died in a plane crash.  

Rather than talk about who James Horner was and what he worked on, I'm going to invite you to drop your favorite of his works in the comments.  If you want to add a why and wherefore, feel free to do so.

I will say the first score of his that I remember consciously really paying attention to and wondering "who did that?" was the score for the 1989 Civil War film, Glory.  Certainly the score wasn't the only thing Glory had going for it. but it set a new standard for the music in historical epics and I often feel like both documentaries and more recent movies have lifted from that score, or at least learned its lessons.

and, of course, I'm a fan of many more of his works.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blaze Starr Merges With The Infinite

Famed lady of Burlesque, Blaze Starr, has passed.

I have no idea how Blaze Starr first entered my consciousness, but no doubt it involved the internet.  She was of the era of Bettie Page, Tempest Storm, Lilli St. Cyr and Irving Klaw, but was more a part of the burlesque circuit than the "mail order photo" industry.  It's unlikely most of polite society in the 1950 and 60's either knew of her or would admit to knowing of her.  And that's with affairs with folks like Louisiana Governor Earl Long that led to a movie biopic containing her name (Blaze from 1989).

But the internet and public memory is a funny thing.  Despite having a path that would leave most folks an anonymous cypher, Blaze Starr has managed to permeate the edges of the American psyche for at least a half-century.  It takes all kinds (and we're all here - as my grandmother used to say).

Here's to a trailblazer of sorts, and an underground icon.

Thanks to Victoria for the link.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Christopher Lee Merges With The Infinite

This is a tough one.

Actor Christopher Lee passed away this week at the age of 93.

Christopher Lee is one of the first actor's names I remember, which is weird, because I knew him from a book I read and reread as a kid about movie monsters, but I didn't see his Dracula movies until fairly recently.  And, seriously, he's phenomenal.  Hammer Horror has it's own style, and at the heart of the best of those movies, you could often find Christopher Lee as a Dracula or Mummy or Frankenstein.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grace Lee Whitney, Star Trek's Yeoman Janice Rand, Merges with The Infinite

It seems that actress and singer, Grace Lee Whitney, has passed. Fans of the original Star Trek show will remember Whitney as Yeoman Rand, Captain Kirk's sometimes love interest, especially during early episodes of the series.

We're very sorry to hear of her passing.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Actor James Best Merges with The Infinite

Both our own Alfredo Garcia and the New York Times are reporting the passing of actor James Best, known best to Gen-X'ers as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on TV's The Dukes of Hazzard.

I did not really follow Best's career, but at some point - possibly even pre-Wopat/Schneider departure, I identified most with the good Sheriff the most of any character on the show.  All I, too, wanted was to park my car beneath a shady tree and take a snooze beside a lazy hound-dog while the cicadas chirped away.  And we were never gonna catch those durn Duke Boys anyway.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy Merges With The Infinite

We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted, in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: Of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most.... human.

This one hurts, y'all.

I only post about folks who've gone beyond the veil when it's personal, but this one...  Leonard Nimoy meant a lot to generations of us folks who grew up with Star Trek.  I was too young to get it when DeForest Kelley passed, and was saddened when James Doohan went, but now we've lost Nimoy.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lizabeth Scott Merges With The Infinite

According to the Film Noir Foundation and LA Times, noir siren Lizabeth Scott has passed at the age of 92.

If you've never seen The Strange Love of Martha Ivers or Too Late for Tears, I recommend both.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Anniversary of the Death of Buddy Holly

February 3rd marked the anniversary of the death of Buddy Holly, who, in 1959, died in a plane crash in Iowa alongside Ritchie Valens, JP Richardson (aka: The Big Bopper) and the pilot of the small aircraft.  Holly was only 22 years old when he died, but he left behind an amazing catalog of music that remains relevant and powerful nearly 60 years after his death.   His legacy is evident in the many generations of rock musicians who followed in his footsteps who picked up on his mix of country and blues riffs, and no less than The Beatles were obviously influenced by Holly and The Crickets work.

I don't want to dismiss the contributions of either Valens or Richardson, but I've been a Buddy Holly man since I was 13 years old, and while I may put Buddy away for a while, every year I put him back on in heavy rotation.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Edgar Froese of Tangerine Dream Merges With The Infinite

As noted in the title, we lost a musical pioneer this week.  Edgar Froese has merged with The Infinite.  (Thanks to Cavender for the link.)

My first exposure to Tangerine Dream was, oddly, as a reference in cult sci-fi book The Architect of Sleep that I read at summer camp when I was a kid.  The hero of the book was a Tangerine Dream fan who accidentally made his way to a parallel Earth where apes had not evolved to be the bipedal species.  Instead, raccoons were living in a sort of feudal, dark-ages-like society.  I dunno.  It's been almost 30 years.*

My take away was the hero was kind of a slacker-stoner who was into stuff even more mellow than Dark Side of the Moon's second half.  At some point in my youth, then, I was buying Tangerine Dream on vinyl and cassette and chilling out like a champ under my Captain America and Michael Jordan posters.

I also recall, not too long after reading the book - and I can't remember if it was before or after I owned any Tangerine Dream, this movie came on the local UHF station, and it was directed by Michael Mann and had a score by Tangerine Dream.  Thief?  you ask.  Ha.  NO.  The Keep, one of the most unjustly hidden gems of the 1980's.  (edit: this is now available on Amazon Instant!  holy cats!)

Anyway, after that I noticed Tangerine Dream did a lot of scores.  The aforementioned Thief, Sorcerer, Risky Business**, Near Dark.  Legend, anybody?

Yeah, Tangerine Dream can sound dated, but I put that up to how much they stamped a certain period of music, the massive influence they had and the army of imitators who flooded movie scores - never quite hitting the same level.

But we're not going to do this post and then not give you some examples.

So, here we go.