Monday, December 31, 2012

good bye 2012

sometimes I have done a year in review post here.  though after the last one I learned my lesson about putting people's names into the posts.  won't make that mistake again, I'll tell you what.  it's not like it was the worst thing to do, but live and learn, right? well, hopefully...

but this year... well, I've had better.  had worse, but definitely had better. I'm going to concentrate on the positive in this post, since I believe that's just a better choice.  besides, no one wants to read about me complaining for three paragraphs.

 I did become a connoisseur of good beers and fine whiskeys.  can't complain about that. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Charlie the Unicorn 4

as a fan of the first three Charlie the Unicorn stories, it's nice to see a new one out after about three years. you kind of have to watch them all in order, but it's not completely necessary. they are weirdly funny, but poor Charlie.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Stan Lee

Happy 90th Birthday Stan Lee.

I'm tempted to say "nuff said" but that's probably ever so trite.  so I'll add a little more about him.  I've met him twice, and he was nice and charming to everyone that was around us.  the first time he was even nice to the kid that brought him a Supergirl comic book to sign.  that's akin to getting Roger Moore to sign a picture of Sean Connery.  I wish I had looked behind me to see if he actually signed the book, it would probably be highly collectable by somebody now.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Strange Brew - Mutants of 2051 AD

so here's the McKenzie Brother's "theatrical" movie eh. it's beauty, and done in just the right pathetic way to make it a classic in the same way "Plan 9" or "Robot Monster" is- too bad it was never finished.

Monday, December 24, 2012

who wants to fight in a bar? really?

so tonight I had a truly surreal experience.

I've been playing at the Blarney Stone's (in Claremont) Open Mic now for almost six months.  I play an electric guitar, when most of the other musicians play an acoustic.  So I use my own amp and distortion pedal because "I wanna rock!" and make a lot of noise.

I'm not great, singing and playing at the same time is way more difficult than one might think.  but I've been getting better and it's a lot of fun.

I've been slowly adding songs to my repertoire.  I like playing a new song every week, so I don't bore the audience by playing all the same songs over and over.  though I do have to playe the Spider-man theme song (Ramones version) every time I play.  Every time.  it's like my song now.  I've still got several I haven't played, but I was excited this week to play Twisted Sister's "We're not Gonna Take It" because it's a lot of fun and I thought it would be a crowd pleaser.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas- Three Stooges

the song is funny, but I gotta say I prefer this version to the original, since her version is rather squeaky. you sure can hear Larry singing a lot in this one. I wonder when it was recorded?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Godzilla's Revenge still

remember when movies used to have stills and promo shots to advertise their movies?  you'd have the big poster and then 2-3 of these pictures to show you a bit more of what would be happening in the movie. 

now with 12 or more theaters showing movies there's just no room for such things, I guess.  which is really too bad, as these sorts of things are always really cool.  they also make some great collectables, if that's what you are into.  I have a few scattered about somewhere.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Godzilla- Rock You Like a Hurricane

while I completely dislike the whole "Godzilla is a force of nature" since that reduces him to a mindless accident- he's a monster, not just an animal reacting on instinct or an accident- this song works well. I also like the DIY way it was shot. I'm not a huge Scorpions fan either.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Godzilla vs Biollante DVD review

 after years of not being officially available in the US on DVD- the VHS and laser disc were, though in dubbed form only, Echo Bridge brings us the 17th Godzilla movie on R1 DVD and blu ray.  how about that?  now there's really only one movie left to get officially released, the last one of the Showa era.

when the VHS version was released in 1992 it was widescreen, but it was also about $70-$90, as it wasn't a sell through title.  I bought the DVD at Best Buy for $5.  that just astounds me still.  I don't even like the movie that much (it's script is a complete mess) but for that price I couldn't pass it up.

Mr.Snow Miser/Mr.Heat Miser Song

it used to be such a big deal when Christmas and ANY holiday specials were aired, cartoons, live action or the awesome Rankin-Bass specials. while this isn't one of my favorite ones, it does have this great song in it. I heard they made another Heat Miser/Snow Miser Xmas special, but I've never seen it. I've never seen the live action version either.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sister Streetfighter (1974)

watched this again the other day, and it's a good movie, though I don't love it like I want to.  I'm not sure why.  the martial arts are great and there are a lot of fights in an 86 minute movie, so that's good.  the battles strike me as very Hong Kong inspired, but it they are much more violent, perhaps more "realistically" violent than say the Shaw Brothers movies of the same time period were.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Simon's Cat in 'Icecapade'

this is a cartoon from a series called appropriately enough, "Simon's Cat". they are pretty clever and quite funny, and capture certain quirky cat personality aspects very well. cats usually do these things to themselves.

Speaking of Biollante...

I got this today. $5 at Best Buy. I remember the movie was originally about $80 on vhs. I'll have a review soon.  who would believe that this movie would be that cheap now?  not me, that's for sure.

Godzilla vs. Biollante Trailer

I remember seeing this trailer in the fall of 1990. a friend of mine sent me a tape of Ultraman episodes (so rare back then) and at the end he included the trailer for the new Godzilla movie. it had a new monster in it, called Biorante or something similar. well, that was exciting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

this movie clocks in at 75 minutes.  and the first 5-6 minutes are the prologue with the Shelleys and Lord Byron so it's actually shorter than the first movie.  that just astounds me that it can do and say so much in such a short time.  I wish there were still effective film editors for movies these days.

anyway, this is the movie where many of the Frankenstein Monster cliches are born- the limited vocabulary, the fear of fire, the bride and her hair, and the monster being actually sympathetic.  Boris Karloff is much better here than in the first film.  and Doctor Septimus Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) really sets the bar high for nearly every future mad scientist, though he never really goes into scene chewing like many others would.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sister Street Fighter 1974 - Trailer

watched this movie today. the trailer here is pretty much exactly like the Japanese one, except for credits and the dubbing. it's pretty enjoyable overall, though it's quite violent, and not in the cartoon style violence that the Chinese martial arts movies tended to be.

The Three Stooges second act

OK so the last recap was misnamed.  this is the second bit, where the boys are out to save the orphanage by raising money.  they will work for $830,000, not a bad deal at all!  naturally they get caught up in a scheme to kill this woman's husband and of course it's not what it seems.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Giant Robo vs Johnny Sokko

I'm kind of in a Sokko mood now, what with the good news from yesterday, so here's a neat little video comparison between the opening credits of the US and Japanese version of the show. I don't think much was edited out of the actual show, but the credits were changed, naturally.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot - JohnnySokko and his Flying Robot: The Complete Series

my pal August broke the news on Facebook last night- he's involved in Shout! Factory's upcoming release of this fun series.  and long awaited series- it's been offered by MGM's MOD before, but never showed up.  there's a ton of boots out there, even on Amazon (here's where you can pre-order it) but these will be taken from the actual archival elements.  August is writing the booklet and production notes, so you know you will get lots of great information about the show and actors.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Bride of Frankenstein - Trailer

the sequel is a better movie, overall. I never really thought about it much when watching either movie, but it's something that's always been said in critical circles.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Frankenstein (1931)

as I said yesterday, I watched this fine movie for the first time in over 20 years. 

it was a real eye opener.  it's rightfully considered a classic, but I was surprised at how few of the Frankenstein monster movie tropes were actually present in the movie.  I'll be going into a few of those, but I think it took another movie to see a lot of what people consider "Frankenstein Monster" actions.  by the way, the DVD I'm watching this is from the Universal Classic Monster collection, and the print is really great, like all of the ones I have (missing only the Mummy and the Wolfman).

of course, I'm also astounded that it's only 71 minutes long.  the monster doesn't even appear til about 30 minutes in, but the build up is so well done that you don't even notice it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Frankenstein (1931) Trailer

I just watched this for the first time in probably... 30 years maybe? I cannot remember the last time I saw it in it's entirety. I'm going to post a review of it soon, or at least my thoughts on it.  I know you all can't wait!

Kamen Rider

having seen the first six episodes of Kamen Rider with English subtitles, I'm pretty impressed, though I can understand how changing the direction slightly made it into the hit it became.  it's far more of a dark story, probably closer to the comic than what it turned into after episode 14 when Ichigō left and Nigo took over.  there was no "henshin" phrase before that, and no cool arm movements to accompany it.  it's almost a horror show with an odd superhero added into it.  once the heroes changed it became a more standard super hero show, which is not a knock on it.  the series rans 98 episodes, which proves they were on the right path with the decision to alter the format a little.

those changes made it something kids could do while playing Kamen Rider.  much harder for them to do the change on the bike! it would have been frowned upon by many parents,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Birthday, Godzilla

I think this would be his 59th screen birthday. I'm no mathematician, but that seems to make sense to me. anyway, I'm not writing too much about it, since more eloquent people than I already have in the past.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph (2012)

saw this movie last night, and enjoyed it.  this is the first time I've seen a G rated movie in I don't know how long.  Was "Astro Boy" rated G?  I don't remember, but if it was that was the last time I saw one in a theater.

I'm not much of a video game player at all, so I didn't recognize every last one of the cameos and guest appearances in here.  Ralph and Felix are obvious amalgams of "Donkey Kong" and there is a definite bit of my favorite game "Rampage" in their appearance as well.  heck, some of the graphics are right out of "Rampage"!  I hear they are making a movie out of that, too.