Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Stay tuned

Soooo. No, this blog isn't reviving. But on the off chance anyone still has this in a feed or something, I just wanted to point out I will soon have a column online at the Daily Grindhouse site about this film. So, stay tuned, please--and meanwhile, enjoy this trailer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Three things promised to make my jaw drop, per online ads


--What Luna Lovegood looks like today
--These photos of Lady Gaga
--Four cards charging 0% interest

My jaw remains in place.


We interrupt our usual programming...


How WNET--the biggest local PBS affiliate in the New York City area--treats viewers is baffling and maddening. I'm a fan of The Great British Baking Show--a baking competition program (minus the usual crappy trappings of competition shows) that's become a big hit. The PBS network finished its run of the season two weeks ago (August 12). But because WNET did not double up on a few episodes as the network as a whole did, this past Sunday (it's airing here on Sunday afternoons rather than Friday evenings, as on the network) was only the quarter-finals. And next Sunday should be the semi-finals. But it's not airing. That's because WNET is starting yet another fund drive this weekend, and regular programming is off the air so it can rerun medical quackery programs, financial advice shows, doo-wop extravaganzas, yet another salute to Downton Abbey (yes, a special called something like I Miss Downton Abbey, a show that literally just aired its final episode a few months ago!), etc. (And, I'm not kidding, wasn't there a fund drive in late June or early July?) The regular schedule won't be back for at least two, possibly three, Sundays. It's so far off in the future that the show is not even showing up in a search of Optimum's schedule (not even sister station WLIW appears to be showing it!). That's if WNET even bothers to show the last two episodes at all. A few years ago, WNET disrupted the run of the last season of Poirot for a fund drive, with one or maybe two episodes left. I could never find them, if it showed them--certainly, it didn't run them in the regular Sunday night slot. By the time the drive was over, Masterpiece Mystery was on to a new series. Is that really any way to treat viewers? (Can I watch the last two episodes on my computer? Sure, and I probably will. But why is WNET treating viewers so shabbily?) PS: I support my local public radio station, but, no, I stopped giving to public TV a few years ago out of sheer frustration.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire.

Episode 1 of "I've Made a Huge Mistake," the Arrested Development podcast, is now available. Look for two new episodes every week. (Will also be available via iTunes, but it appears episode 1 isn't there as I type this. There's a different podcast with the same name, so look for the one with the orange-colored icon that says "An Arrested Development podcast" beneath the title.)


Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Do you love Arrested Development as much as I do?



Oh, don't be that way, Lucille!

Of course you understand the question--Arrested Development is only the best TV comedy of the 2000s.

And since you do love Arrested Development as much as I do, note that there's a new podcast devoted to the show, and it's called "I've Made a Huge Mistake." It starts next week, and I'll be on the show devoted the ninth episode of season one, "Storming the Castle," in a month or so.

But don't wait for me--put on your denim cutoffs, whip up a nice batch of mayonegg, and meet me where the magic happens. (You know, at the Gothic Arsehole.)

A preview episode is already up, laying out plans for the coming months.

Monday, July 25, 2016

And I fully expect two-headed tomato peddlers to start showing up soon

Nothing had been so hateful in the sight of these mobs as the man of learning, at first because they had served the princes, but then later because they refused to join in the bloodletting and tried to oppose the mobs, calling the crowds "bloodthirsty simpletons."  

Joyfully the mobs accepted the name, took up the cry: Simpletons! Yes, yes! I'm a simpleton! Are you a simpleton? We'll build a town and we'll name it Simple Town, because by then all the smart bastards that caused all this, they'll be dead! Simpletons! Let's go! This ought to show 'em! Anybody here not a simpleton? Get the bastard, if there is! --Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Nixon's the one!

Please to enjoy these Nixon ads from 1968.

Is it just me or is this first one straight out of The Parallax View?



Nixon touches the nation's youth. (Figuratively!)



What has Richard Nixon ever done for me?



This one is FREAKING ME OUT.




Tuesday, July 19, 2016

In which we respond to various trending items on Facebook

"Lou Holtz: Former College Football Coach Photographed Carrying Bottle of Crown Royal at RNC"

How else is anyone expected to make it through this experience?


"Steve King: Congressman, R-Iowa, Says Europe and US Contributed Most to Civilization"

He'd calculate the way Europeans have contributed most, but that might mean using algebra.


"Omarosa: TV Personality Named Head of African-American Outreach for Trump Presidential Campaign"

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Monday, June 27, 2016

[Bleep] City

I was reading an article in an August 1969 issue of the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times and stumbled across this absolutely real, absolutely crazy ad for an upscale housing development ($29,000 for a house with luxuries like pools, year-round ski slopes, and golf courses!) outside of the city. (Click to embiggen.)

I don't know how to read this other than "Come live here and have sex with your neighbors. It's cool. We're all doing it."

"Easier to love your neighbor"? "There will be clusters for young swingers"? "There were be clusters for not-so-young swingers"?

Yeah, they are totally doing it.

The first thing that came to mind as I read this was this dialogue from season 2, episode 8 of Arrested Development:

G.O.B.: That’s right, Michael. Guess who just got fired? 
Narrator: G.O.B. was recently hired by the Bluth Company’s rival, Sitwell Enterprises. And although he started off well...
G.O.B.: 52% of the country is single. That’s a market that’s been dominated by apartment rentals. Let’s take some of that market. I call it “Single City.” It’s, like, “Hey, you want to go down to the whirlpool?” “Yeah, I don’t have a husband.” I call it “Swing City.”

Stan Sitwell: Let’s get into some new areas, if you don’t mind. 
Narrator: But G.O.B. continued to fine-tune his first one. 
G.O.B.: How do we filter out the teases? We don’t let them in. This goes for the guys, too. Because sometimes the guys are tapped out. But check your lease, man. Because you’re living in [bleep] City. 
Stan Sitwell: You’re fired.
Narrator: ... his ideas failed to evolve.

Oh, G.O.B. You were decades too late!


As Clueless as ever

I'm appearing in five episodes of the As If podcast--a minute-by-minute look at Clueless, Amy Heckerling's 1995 updated, comedic take on Jane Austen's Emma. (In addition to that link, by the way, the show is also available via iTunes.) I'll be a guest for episodes devoted to minutes 53 through 57, and the first of our episodes went up today--the others go up Tuesday through Friday. If you're wondering if Clueless holds up: Yes, it does, and we had a lot of fun talking about it. Host for the episode is Dan Costa (who has his own podcast, Blockbuster Dropouts) and fellow guest is Wendy Mays (who hosts the Pet Cinematary podcast). (I take it that I'm now the only person on Earth without his own podcast.) So tune in for fun and prizes! (Note: The prize is free entertainment!)

You can start at the beginning, if you like--start listening now so you're all caught up!

At the end of the first episode, I was asked if I had anything to plug, so here goes--

Daily Grindhouse posted a piece I wrote about George Pal's 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, a classic fantasy from 1964, and a favorite of mine since I was a kid.

And Cashiers du Cinemart published my mystified take on the cult oddity After Last Season, which includes interviews I conducted with three of the actors. If you've never heard of the movie--well, I can't blame you, but here is the trailer, which is mesmerizing. The movie, not so much. You are under no obligation to watch the movie, but, seriously, watch the trailer. It may change your life. (Note: There are printers in the basement you can use.)

Another piece I wrote for CdC is this look at Michael Powell's They're a Weird Mob. Powell is one of my favorite directors, probably best known for The Red Shoes, Black Narcissus, and A Matter of Life and Death. This is one of his lesser movies, but his classics are just so widely analyzed it didn't make sense to write about them yet again. As far as I can tell, I may be the only person who has ever written about this movie. Sure, there's a reason for that, but still.

And, finally, my Twitter account is here, and my Letterboxd profile is here.

That's all, folks!