Monday, March 9, 2020
Format: Amazon Streaming
It's the inaugural episode of Jamie's Cinema Classic Selections! If you liked Cats, we've got us some more movies to discuss.
For no reason in particular we decided to watch "Xanadu" (1980) and talk about it. It seems neither of us had ever seen it, and, honestly, we now have more questions than answers. Not a musical, not-not a musical, starring a legend of the silver screen in his swan song and an up-and-coming film siren in the movie that kept her off the big screen for decades - it's roller skating, disco, rock, big band, 40's and 80's, and more rollerskating! XANADU!
Magic - Olivia Newton John, Xanadu OST
Xanadu - Olivia Newton John, Xanadu OST
and just in case you missed it:
Sunday, March 8, 2020
I am not a "Trekker" like I'd consider some of my friends. I do not have a tattoo of the Enterprise on my forearm (hi, Stuart). I do not know the names of episodes as chapter and verse. I mostly only watched Star Trek (the Original Series) and Star Trek: The Next Generation. And I quite liked both.
Y'all can go to bat for DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I'm aware they all have their plusses, but I didn't really watch them. And I honestly mostly watched ST:TNG out of order in syndication after season 4 wrapped up (why our local channel showed them out of order when I was in college, I will never know, but I generally knew what season it was by which uniform they were wearing).
When Picard was coming on, I realized it'd been a while since I spent much time with ST:TNG. In theory, I liked the show, and I'd watched bits here and there on BBC America during lunchbreaks when I worked from home, but I was genuinely not sure the show held up. Further, I wasn't ready to wade through 22+ episodes per season of 7 seasons of TV (plus a few movies) to catch up and be ready for Picard.
Thus, I turned to Stuart, who gave me the following watch list:
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
In the 1990's, James Lipton burst onto the basic cable scene with Inside the Actor's Studio, a TV interview show where Lipton interviewed name-actors. It was a fun program, not devoid of talk-show cheesiness, but also occasionally insightful and felt like actors sort of let their guard down, but also basked in the attention of starry-eyed young actors.
Lipton became a household celebrity himself, his mannered approach and just off-center style entertaining on its own.
James Lipton has passed at the age of 93.
I was never an aspiring actor, but I was always fascinated by the 10 final questions Lipton would ask as he closed down an episode. So, here are my answers:
- What is your favorite word? - howdy
- What is your least favorite word? - abbatoir
- What turns you on? - intelligent curiosity
- What turns you off? - lack of empathy
- What sound or noise do you love? - dog feet on the stairs or the crack of a bat on ball hitting a homerun
- What sound or noise do you hate? - beep of medical monitors
- What is your favorite curse word? - Fuck (it's so flexible!), but especially in the context of JFC
- What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? - K9 officer
- What profession would you not like to do? - flight attendant
- If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? - "all the dogs you ever had are over there with those books you never got around to reading"
Monday, March 2, 2020
Format: Alamo Mueller
Viewing: Unknown - more than 5
It was a delight to see Shane (1953) on the big screen at Alamo Mueller this evening with SimonUK. Si had never seen it, so that was kind of cool.
Back in 7th grade my Reading teacher, Ms. McDowell, had us read the original novel, and then we watched the movie. I've been a fan ever since and am not objective in any way about Shane. I will say, seeing it on the big screen was stunning - the Grand Tetons loom large in the background and Wyoming's magnificent landscapes provide epic sweep to the story.
And while it's no mystery that Shane is largely about violence, the impact of the sound in the theater versus confined to my TV speakers provided an intensity to the film I wasn't expecting.
If it's been a while or you've never seen it, give Shane a shot. It's been endlessly ripped off and borrowed from, but the original holds up amazingly well.
Sunday, March 1, 2020
Viewing: Second or third
Back in the 90's, in an era where not every movie needed to kick-start a franchise or go for Oscar gold, sometimes you'd just have an entertaining movie.
It's been years since I last saw The Thomas Crown Affair remake from 1999, then 31 years after the release of the original - which I didn't see until the last ten years, but I recalled liking the 1999 edition, even if I did not feel like I needed to have it in my DVD collection. Stars Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo are charismatic and effortless in their parts, the story isn't a mind-bender, but engaging, and the supporting cast - while distinctly 90's-ish in stance and dialog, works well around our leads.
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Format: Cable TV
Decade: 1970's, baby!
I have no idea why we aren't all constantly talking about Phantom of the Paradise (1974).
Written and directed by Brian DePalma, starring and with songs by Paul Williams, it's a 70's-splosion take on Phantom of the Opera and Faust, with impressionistic and stylized art design and cinematography mixed with oddball performances and larger-than-life glam rock fantasy - it's a hell of a thing to watch (and hear).
For my music-aficionado pals and those of you who like something just amazingly, audaciously over the top - give it a shot.
It's Superman's birthday!
Back in the day the editors of Superman comics decided to be cheeky and said the reason Superman didn't seem to age was that his birthday was on Leap Day. So, now, we only get to celebrate Superman's birthday every four years, so you gotta take advantage. Go out there and eat a pint of ice cream or a whole cake in honor of Superman's b-day. It's only every four years.
Thursday, February 27, 2020
Viewing: 5th or 6th
We welcome all-new co-contributor and longtime pal JAL to the PodCast for a new series: Noir Watch! We're kicking it off with a dreamy murder mystery, Laura (1944) - a whodunnit about a detective who falls for a painting, a venom tongued columnist and Vincent Price in his pre-Master of Horror Days. And, of course, the lovely Gene Tierney.
Laura - Dan Raskin, Laura OST
Noir Watch Playlist:
Whiskey: Bonesnapper Rye
Some films mentioned:
His Kind of Woman starring Vincent Price, Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell
Kiss of Death starring Richard Widmark and Victor Mature
Laura as cover song
by Charlie Parker
by Ella Fitzgerald
Friday afternoon, I saw news that Dan Didio, former writer, promoted to Executive Editor, then promoted to Publisher at DC Comics, was no longer with the company. No circumstances regarding his departure have been reported from DC or Didio, so at this time, it's safe to say Didio's exit was possibly due to a difference of direction from WB and/ or the head of Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences - Pam Lifford, who took over DC leadership when Diane Nelson resigned and the structure of DC Entertainment was folded back into WB. There are also rumors about the perceived impact of the coming "5G" event and reshaping of DC Continuity, which, frankly... sounded exhausting as a reader. Other possibilities included workplace issues and the good old fashioned lay-off as ATT goes about restructuring WB.
A lot of artists and writers took to twitter to talk about how Didio had done good by them, with a few popping off here and there. Honestly, some of what I saw about how Didio is a great guy just sounded like basic human decency or Management 101, which really makes me wonder what the heck it's like actually working in comics when "he said he'd take responsibility for the thing he is responsible for" is the bar for a great humanitarian in comics. But, still, the expressions seemed sincere, and while I'm aware there's a tendency in creative fields to not burn bridges and overly laud anyone exiting, I'll take these creators at their word.
Longtime readers will know - I am not a fan of Dan Didio.