Tuesday, July 30, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
I'm always going to support a movie that features Ida Lupino slinging back drinks, dropping snappy dialog and not exactly being coy about her interests. She's, however, just one of many name talents in While the City Sleeps (1956), an ensemble drama about the women and men at work in a major metropolitan newspaper. Directed by Fritz Lang, this one features: Dana Andrews, Vincent Price, Rhonda Fleming, George Sanders, Thomas Mitchell, John Drew Barrymore, Sally Forrest and more, all bringing their A-game and making for a fun, unsentimental look at how the sausage is made in the big news game.
Sunday, July 28, 2019
The past couple of weeks marked the 50th anniversary of the first manned lunar landing, thanks to the crew of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. Plus, the might of NASA, contractors to NASA, government bureaucrats, politicians and, us, the voting and tax-paying public.
From July 16th to July 24th, 1969, three brave people hurled through the void of space, two walked the face of an alien landscape, and then all returned, safely, to Earth. All of this just sixty-six years after the Kitty Hawk Flyer took to the sky and 27 years after the first V2 rocket. The scope of progress and achievement during this window was unprecedented in human history as two nations threw down the gauntlet to see who could place a boot onto lunar soil.
Format: Amazon Streaming
Viewing: Unknown. 6th or so.
I watched this while I was having my worst day of my cold and running a fever. I mostly remember clicking through options on Amazon and finally saying "ha. Madeline Kahn." And then I was watching Clue (1985) again.
A while back I watched this movie and actually didn't like it that time, except for some particular bits here and there, but on this viewing, I enjoyed it immensely (again. I used to quite like this movie.),
Anyway. Ha! Madeline Kahn!
Friday, July 26, 2019
Watched : 03/03/2019
It was called @#$%ing Panchos and you losers let it go out of business the last time. Fun flags and all. Absolutely glorious. Don't @#$% it up again, Austin.
Main Title - Howard Shore, The Fly OST
Unknown Track - Howard Shore, The Fly - Opera
Help Me - Bryan Ferry, The Fly OST
"What is Love?" Playlist:
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Format: Hallmark Channel's Christmas in July
I was suffering a fever and whatnot over the weekend, and that's part of why this happened.
Around July 1, The Hallmark Channel began running Christmas movies 24/7, and I guess that's the gameplan through the end of the month. It's clearly a trial balloon to see if they should just go ahead and launch a fulltime Christmas movies channel, as in - all year it's Christmas. Which would make Jamie snap, and, thus, I support this idea.
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Format: Noir Alley on TCM on DVR
So.... I don't know that I'd want to actually recommend The Tattooed Stranger (1950) to anyone. It's far more of a curiosity of production than it is a watchable or good movie, and in the right, riff-able hands, could be wildly entertaining. Pre-film, Muller explained that it had been a producer of RKO's Pathe office, who wanted to try their hand at cheap narrative films, exploiting their guerrilla film making know-how from decades of documentary films and using the wealth of actors in NYC.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate.
All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.
Time to die.
This one hit us all hard and never let up.
Monday, July 22, 2019
If you ever get a chance, read up on the amazing history of NASA. It's fascinating today to see some of the unknown stories of the agency's history come to the fore in recent years, bringing to the fore luminaries like Margaret Hamilton and Katherine Johnson. One name we did grow up with was Christopher Kraft.
Truly, no one was more "there at the beginning" than Kraft, who had been a NACA employee before the creation of NASA, and who helped build and shape NASA from the inside up.
Kraft served as Flight Director at NASA during Mercury and Gemini and as a manager of flight operations during Apollo. Kraft's attention to detail and leadership were key to keeping all the moving parts together before, during and after each mission, keeping people alive as they hurled through space in experimental machines strapped to ballistic missiles.
He would go on to run the Manned Spacecraft Center into the early 80's, when he retired from NASA. In the 1990's, he participated in a review of the shuttle program and published an autobiography in 2001.
Mr. Kraft passed this week at the age of 95, having pushed humanity higher, further and farther than anyone ever dreamed. He deserves to be remembered alongside the astronauts and heroes who, themselves, went into space and those new legends of engineering, math and science. The role he took on wasn't the one with the personal glory (although his name did become quite well known), but without the Christopher Krafts out there, you don't get the Apollo missions, either.
A statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Kraft's passing.
Last week I traveled for work and somewhere along the line I picked up a nasty cold. I have my suspects who may have passed along this infernal malady, but shall name no names here in the record of my life which will be preserved and shared for generations.
I got home from work very late last Wednesday (really Thursday morning) and was doing fine. I worked out on Thursday, ate dinner and was doing the dishes when I got the spins for a minute. "That's odd," I said to myself. "But it has been a while since I worked out, and that didn't go very well, either."
And then the symptoms started coming in, and I knew.
Look, it's not dramatic. It's a cold. As of this writing I am now past the point of ear canals screaming at me, a sore throat and a fever. I spent most of the weekend laying on the sofa watching TV, I think. I don't really know. I think I watched all of Clue last night, but I'm not sure. But I did go to an Urgent Care Sunday not because I think they can cure the common cold, but because I have no idea what OTC meds to take when you do have a cold. PLUS - I really did not want get a sinus infection on the other side of the cold. And, you never know. Day 3 of a fever is a good time to ask a pro if you're dying or not.
Anyway - I'm on the road to recovery. Doing much better than I was and have moved into the "coughing a lot and, oh, look, it's producing phlegm" part of the program. Some minor stuffiness. And I'm way more lucid, which I see as beneficial to everyone.
The poor dog, who hasn't seen a decent walk in days, just thinks I suck.
Thanks to Jamie who has been a hero through all of this and hasn't seemed to have acquired this cold, against all odds. But, yeah, she is used to me Man-Flu'ing my way through all illness, but it is in no way fun to watch a giant, sweaty man lay on your sofa and just keep saying "I don't care" about literally everything not related to his phlegm production. Of course she's wrestling with summer allergies, so as I recover, I hereby swear to be deeply sympathetic to her fight via Austin allergens.
Friday, July 19, 2019
In some ways I'm amazed I haven't totally turned on this show. It can be twee, it's a lot too precious in some scenes, and the "look, we're doing the 1980's!" while getting a lot of details wrong should have pushed me over the ledge.*
Sometimes I wish they'd just turn to David Harbour and Winona Ryder and ask "is this actually right? As someone who was a young person in 1985, is this accurate?" Because it works *better* for those of us who were around this age when the show is on. And it is on *a lot*. But when it's off, it takes you right out.
The horror was more or less abstracted to a general horror-movie sort of problem this season, giving the characters less specific rules-sorting to do, which I support. At times the visual and filmic references to other things was so heavy handed, though, the show almost folded in on itself.
Still, somehow, the show works. I still really enjoyed it, and I know why.