Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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Just a little recommendation for the Stephen King fans out there that I just ran across, which will air early in October on the 3rd. I thought I better mention it now, otherwise it will get overlooked, and for me, it sounds like something I certainly want to watch. Though being on TCM, I would think it would repeat again, perhaps later in the month. I haven't checked their schedule yet for October, so I'll grab a recording of it early. In fact, being a fan of King, I just bought a copy of Misery on DVD with James Caan and Kathy Bates, along with The Stand and Pet Cemetery. Plus I have several other movie adaptations made from his books, and many of his books as well. It sounds like a good way to kick off October and Halloween, along with the Walking Dead that month. My brush with greatness: Many years back when King was serializing his book, The Green Mile, they originally came out in these smaller digest-sized books before they were collected into one larger volume. They were a neat idea, and I got interested in the story as well. In the back of the serialized editions, King had a content where he'd ask a question to the reader. The winner of the contest would receive an autographed copy of a part of the books. Well, I won one of those. I was a happy camper and really it made my day or week or whatever. I still relish it being a fan of Stephen King.

If you are into Christmas movies (and who isn't?), they'll spotlight a similar documentary in December called, A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! Here's the blurb I read from the TCM site: Turner Classic Movies will celebrate Halloween and Christmas this year with two all-new specials produced by DreamWorks Television and presented as part of TCM's ongoing A Night at the Movies documentary series. In October, TCM will premiere A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King, with the master storyteller himself discussing the classic horror films that influenced him the most. And in December, A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! will take viewers on a magical journey through some of the greatest holiday films ever made.

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TCM's A Night at the Movies specials are written, produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker and author Laurent Bouzereau (The Making of Steven Spielberg's "Jaws"; All About "The Birds"), with Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (TNT's Falling Skies) serving as executive producers. The series began in October 2009 with A Night at the Movies: The Suspenseful World of Thrillers, followed in December 2009 with A Night at the Movies: The Gigantic World of Epics.

In A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King, which premieres on TCM Monday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. (ET), Stephen King discusses how he discovered terror at the movie theater. He takes viewers on a journey through many aspects of the horror genre, including vampires, zombies, demons and ghosts. He also examines the fundamental reasons behind moviegoers' incessant craving for being frightened. Along the way, he discusses the movies that have had a real impact on his writing, including Freaks (1932), Cat People (1942), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Night of the Living Dead (1968) and The Changeling (1980).

A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King will kick off an entire month of classic horror on TCM, with each Monday night's lineup packed with memorable chillers. The offerings include Universal classics like Frankenstein (1931) and The Wolf Man (1941), Val Lewton thrillers like Cat People (1942) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943), Hammer classics like Horror of Dracula (1958) and cult favorites from William Castle and Roger Corman, to name a few.

Coming in December is A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas!. It will be a tinsel-filled journey through the most iconic holiday films of all time, including perennial favorites It's A Wonderful Life (1946) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947). The special will look at variations within the genre, such as holiday romances, family movies and even thrillers. A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas will feature behind-the-scenes stories and personal Hollywood Christmas memories from the likes of Chevy Chase, Margaret O'Brien, Chazz Palminteri, Deborah Raffin, Karolyn Grimes, Zack Ward, Brian Henson, Joe Dante, Trine Mitchum, authors Julie Salamon and Alonso Duralde, A Christmas Carol expert Michael Patrick Hearn and many more.

A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas will be accompanied by an entire month of great holiday films on TCM, including A Christmas Carol (1938), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) and both the 1933 and 1949 versions of Little Women.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

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50 years ago Sunday, on Sept. 24, 1961, NBC revamped its prime-time opening lineup by presenting two new series whose titles are sure to bring a smile to anyone who watched them: The Bullwinkle Show, followed immediately by Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Both these shows were acquisitions of sorts. Animator Jay Ward and his cohorts had been producing Rocky and His Friends as a cartoon series since 1959, but for ABC's weekday afternoon schedule. NBC brought it to prime time, where Ward offered several different supporting segments, but kept Rocky the Flying Squirrel, and Bullwinkle the Moose, as the opening and closing acts.

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ABC, up to that point, also had been the network home of Walt Disney. His Disneyland prime-time series, largely a sly but effective weekly infomercial for his movies and theme park, had begun in 1955, and by 1960 had morphed into Walt Disney Presents.

But NBC lured Disney by pushing a technology that ABC, at the time, couldn't match: an all-color showcase. This was business, not altruism: NBC was vested in pushing color TVs, since its parent company at the time, RCA, manufactured them. The Bullwinkle Show, too, was in color on NBC -- so whether viewers watched Bullwinkle J. Moose or Mickey Mouse on Sunday nights, their world was a carousel of color. Wonderful, wonderful color...the only thing, at that time, my family had an old Magnavox black and white set. No matter, they were still a window into dreams, and how enchanting they were.

The new fall TV season is gearing up here in the states. I've already been watching the new Survivor season, and it's been pretty fun so far. The Walking Dead season 2 starts around Oct. 16th and has been showing ads on AMC, promising more zombie killing action, I'm looking forward to that. The Breaking Bad current season is winding down, and about over, but still remains a pretty excellent show.

Terra Nova premieres Sept. 26th--sort of a Jurassic Park knock-off from the looks of it, but since I like dinosaurs, and SF, I'll give it a watch, and hope for the best.

On Oct. 5th--premieres something that looks interesting called American Horror Story on the FX channel, don't know much beyond that, but the trailers look interesting enough for me to check it out.

If you're in UK, (I don't have cable access for it), however, read about a horror series called Bedlam--might be worth checking out.

Last night, Friday on Fox, looks to be the new slot for Fringe, and I've enjoyed this SF series so far, there are high eps. and a few spotty episodes, but overall fills in my X-Files missing piece.

Ringer, stars Sarah Michelle Gellar in double roles, but I missed the first episode, I really dug her in Buffy, however. Anyone see this?

The Playboy Club--premiered last Monday night, but interfered with the usual stuff I normally watch: American Pickers off the History Channel, which is showing new episodes, I still enjoy it, so I miss The Playboy Club, but appears to be a Mad Men knock-off in mood, and time period. Bunny costumes, can't be bad, right?

The X Factor--Simon Cowell, sorry I can't go there.

So you checking out any of these or are you into something else?

Friday, September 23, 2011

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Well, our new Tyler, Tx., Breastaurant in now officially open. What's that you say? Yes, the corruption of youth, and defiler of children, Double D Ranch Grill & Bar, is now open here in Tyler. I can only assume now God will send down a plague of frogs, and then a flood. Brother, you wouldn't believe all the silly issues that this restaurant stirred up in our little non-progressive community. It all started, I think from a few random complaints to the city counsel that, Oh God, a restaurant by the name of DOUBLE D (get it), was going to be built right next door to the Toys R Us building, and Oh God, across the street from our high school. Toys R Us hit them with a restraining order, which halted any further work on the building, which was just about refurbished, and from placing up signage, etc., sort of throwing their little operation into limbo status.

They modeled the theme of their restaurant between a Hooters and something like a Buffalo Wild Wings, with waitress staff in skimpy ranch attire. If you look at the Double D site and once you get past the model strutting her picture for the first few photos, you see a group shot of what the staff will probably look like, something I hardly find offensive. I mean, sheesh, have these defenders of Tyler's morality ever seen how high school girls dress in warm summer months? Honestly I didn't know what the whole brouhaha was more about: the name, the dress, the location, or a combination of the three, but I find it all fairly insane and ridiculous.

Well, the complaints caused a news report, about a Breastaurant being built, or actually moving into the old El Chico restaurant building here in town. The El Chico shut down due to the suits at the corporate office, CRO, Inc. or Consolidated Restaurant Operations, Inc. (as far as I could trace ownership), thought there were too many Mexican restaurants here in town already, felt a slump in sales, and decided, perhaps they could sell more breast, I mean, burgers & fries, by changing the theme and cuisine to something different. So they decided on this sport bar, Hooters theme, thinking it might make 'em a few more pesos. Little did they know what they were getting into...

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Well, after much haggling back and forth with corporate attorneys, CRO, Inc. vs Toys R Us, and the city council they finally agreed upon a compromise. They changed the name to El Chico Ranch or some nonsense, and changed a bit of the attire of the waitress staff, sort of covering up their jibbly bits as it were, and had to change their menu accordingly. Vice President of Marketing for CRO, Inc. said he was glad to reach a compromise with the Tyler community and Toys R Us, adding, "His hope is that El Chico Ranch becomes known as a restaurant “with great food with a Texas flavor and a very hospitable, friendly staff as it was planned to be,” ahem, but very little titty.

So now that Tyler has this little bit of modernization behind us, can a Long Dong Silvers be that far behind?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

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I'm sitting here after watching most of the Dallas Cowboy game, while also switching channels during breaks and commercials to watch a bit of the Houston Texans game. Ends up they both won, the Dallas game being the closer call as they went into overtime. I need to get up and fix some supper and something to eat, as the hunger pains are getting the better part of me, plus get the wash out of the dryer. Anyway I'm also fired up over this new web site I ran into, and you will be as well, if you enjoy comic art, fantasy and science fiction art, and commercial art that veers into those territories.

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The site is located: here. It is not a site that spotlights the artists' artwork, per se, though they have many examples of that, but what they do have is many interviews with many different artist that you can listen to via a podcast or just listen online. The interviews are a winner though. I've already listened to a Mark Schultz interview, the creator of Xenozoic Tales. It was great and interesting , as was the one I heard yesterday, by James Gurney. He is the author and artist of the Dinotopia books, which again are wonderful, and it's a joy to listen to these podcast and have these interviewers at Sidebarnation pick these artists' brains a bit about their influences, where they grew up, what materials they might use on some project, what makes them tic and what makes them get excited as well.

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As long as you are going over there to download a few podcast, heck, leave them a comment or two telling them how much you appreciate their site and hard work. I'd like to see something like this continue. I used to be a fairly ardent fan of The Comics Journal until they just got too large in page content and too expensive (a mistake, imo). This site certainly fills a gap that has sorely been missing in my life lately. I really dig it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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Man walks into a bar, orders a drink, the bartender says, "What's up chum, why so glum?"
The man says, "No reason, really, I guess I should be happy, but my boy just had an operation, so I was a bit stressed."
The bartender says, "Sorry to hear that, how'd it go?"
The man says, "Well, my boy was born without any eyelids, so when we took him into the hospital to get him circumcised, we had some of the skin removed from his penis grafted on for his eyelids."
Bartender goes, "I'd never heard of that, how'd it go?"
The man says, "I think he's fine now, the doctors just said he'd be a little cockeyed." (drum snare)

Comedians, gotta love 'em, right? I think we all need a good laugh from time to time. I think we all like different styles and have different thresholds for comedy, which might, I suspect have something to do with what generation you are born in. I come from an older generation growing up as a child watching the Ed Sullivan theater on Sunday nights after church. The comedians were different as was the Jackie Gleason Show, The Andy Griffin Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and so on. Even on the variety shows like Andy Williams, Glen Campbell show, The Smothers Brothers show, or even shows like the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, they'd sprinkle in a little stand up. Over the years it's gotten more risque, and some of it I don't mind, and others I find offensive. Like I said, I guess it all depends on your threshold for taste or bawdy, blue humor.

I think some of my favorites are ones that aren't quite as lewd like Jerry Seinfeld or Woody Allen, who do observational humor yet do it without stooping to toilet humor. I think that's actually harder to write and convey on stage. But at the same time I do like to hear George Carlin, Andrew Dice Clay, Chris Rock, Dave Attell, Sam Kinison that can get pretty outrageous and blue too. Again, it all depends on one's taste.

I thought I'd share a link I found to a series of podcast on comedians, which has interviews with them and so forth on it. I just downloaded the Andrew Dice Clay and the Bobcat Goldthwaite ones, and there are many more that are free. There are a few that, if interested, are premium ones and you have to pay for them available on iTunes and at the WTF website. They cost $2.99. I haven't downloaded these, but if you are so inclined you might want to check out the Louis CK and the Robin Williams episodes, which Ive heard were great. The Louis CK is a two part episode running at two hours.

Here's a link: WTF.