I am apparently the only person in the United States who saw this film when it came out. I don't get it.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who spends a lot of time in the pool just like Kiefer Sutherland.
I am apparently the only person in the United States who saw this film when it came out. I don't get it.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who spends a lot of time in the pool just like Kiefer Sutherland.
I saw "Real Steel" a few days ago and it's better than I thought it would be. It's based on a short story by Richard Matheson, who wrote "I am Legend," which so far has been filmed three times. Then there is "The incredible Shrinking Man."
The movie has guy stuff -- gigantic robots pounding each other into scrap. Then there's the girl stuff - the relationship between father, son and girlfriend. So they cover all the bases.
Posted by bob Wallace, who doesn't have a fighting robot, darn it.
When I saw a little kid I saw "Robinson Crusoe on Mars." I was surprised at how good it was.
Never seen it on TV, never seen it at the video store. But it's at Netflix, and on the way.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who says, Hoorah for Netflix!
What's the best movie of 2008? Forget all those stupid lists and simpering award shows... the hands down winner is My Name is Bruce!
What does a teen age horror fanboy do when his town is being terrorized by the Chinese Demon-God he unwittingly unreashed upon it during a graveyard romp? He kidnaps boozey, bitter, B-movie actor Bruce Campbell to fight the thing - of course. What else would you do?
Campbell, emerging from the trunk of the car he'd been locked in and hearing the story told him by the yocals, thinks the whole thing is a cruelly, elaborate birthday prank - that is, until he's confronted with the too-real monster.
Directed by Bruce Campbell and filmed on location in Oregon, I think My Name is Bruce is even better than Bubba Hotep. And that is saying alot. Heck, it's even available on netflix already.
posted by Tom Novak who doesn't want to ruin it by giving away any more good lines ...
This is a fair film. The PC delusion is that the North was saintly and South was evil. There is also the view the South was good and the North evil.
The truth is not so simple. The movie points out, correctly, the War Between the States was never about slavery, but the attempt by the South to detach itself from the North because of economic issues. In other words, money.
Later, the war was justified by saying it was about slavery, making it a moral and not an economic issue.
Nobody is demonized in the film, whether they are Northerners or Southerners.
There is a particularly disturbing scene in the movie, in which a Northern Irish brigade assaults a Southern Irish brigage. One Southern Irishman, when he sees them, says, "These are our brothers!," and another responds, "Have they learned nothing from England's occupation of Ireland?"
Of course, they mow then down anyway.
That scene illustrates something I've said for years: the War Between the States was the conflict between England and Scotland and Ireland transplanted to the U.S. Yankees are the English and the South and a lot of the Midwest are Scots-Irish.
That's why I was for the South, and it turns out I was right. All you have to do is look at what the federal government has turned into. And it's because the North won, and not the South.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who is a Scots-Irish Ozarkian hillbilly.
This is one of the movies that you, the TSC legion of Zombie Doom simply have to own, and I don't want to hear any mumbly "braaaaiinns" arguments out you either. The burden of civilization is upon us, so prepare and get Thom Eberhart's brilliant masterpiece: Night of the Comet. The thing has the best ending ever ... and Catherine Mary Stewart ... Woooba Wooo!
posted by Tom Novak who deep down is a Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombie.
posted by Tom Novak, who still hasn't seen TDTESS2 in the theater but has seen Army of Darkness about 50 times ... close enough?
Blue-Ray is now your best entertainment value.Beats going to the theater. And the prices on the discs are dropping (finally). Don't have a blu-ray player or HDTV yet? Well, you will. And you'll be glad when you do get them because it's f'n amazing. Don't believe me? Then just ask Wally Conger.
And here's a deal of the day - the entire Die Hard collection on blu-ray. Who couldn't like that?
posted by Tom Novak, who says Yippeee Ki Yay!
When I was way little my parents took my sister and me to see Straightjacket, with that crazy person Joan Crawford. The film was mostly boring to me except for one scene -- some guy is looking in a freezer, and an axe comes down and chops off his head.
I went ballistic in the theater. Years later, seeing the film again, I saw it was a really bad dummy, and the scene was actually funny. But I didn't know that at five.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who has a axe...sitting in the corner of the room.
TV reached its peak in the '60s and sometimes I think movies did too. After all, here is one of the greatest movies in all time and space -- One Million Yers B.C., starring Raquel Welch and her fur bikini. Now if she could have only been in Star Trek or Jonny Quest....
Posted by Bob Wallace, who still is Jonny Quest hisself.
Who could forget Roger Moore and Barbara Bach (and Caroline Munro) in the great James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me? Well not me. It's great! Somebody just paid 110,000 British Pounds to buy the Esprit that Sir Roger was wheeling in that film. I didn't even know it was a real car. I guess it is and not just a special effect like I thought.
In the unlikely event that you've forgotten how cool The Spy Who Loved Me is ... here's the car chase ::
posted by Tom Novak, who likes that movie, and thinks that poor Caroline wasn't really evil - just misunderstood.
If you like science fiction in the Burroughs' Tradition (and we sure do) then you will dig watching Hellboy, The best movie of the year '04 thus far, and it is now available on DVD. And yes, we've ordered a copy and are getting the popcorn microwaved for its imminent arrival and yes, yes, this editor waited to see Spiderman 2 before making that "best movie thus far" claim - so there. Yeah, uh-huh ... you just keep on whining like your not-hero, Peter Parker, there Marvel fans.
Now, back to the better film, Hellboy, if y'all missed it in the theaters that's no surprise considering that it was released in the middle of all the hoopla over Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ* and the only notice Hellboy received was from some fundamentalist /conservative christian twits who were comparing gate receipts of the two films to make a claim of moral victory for their religious views - but never mind that lunacy. Hellboy was also out in theaters in April right before tax time, can you say, "really bad timing for good PR?" Sheesh... talk about hell - boy! Who's idea was that?
UPDATE - Hellboy has arrived at TSC's underground parking and publishing stage door via official, gone-postal, state-sanctioned media-mail ~ YAY! More updates to follow ...
In the abscence of light, darkness prevails.
* Supreme Uber Junker's note ~ we won't be reviewing Mel Gibson's The Passion because, A. - it's not the sort of movie we review, and B. - we are not really smart, scholarly or worthy enough to be criticizing the birth /life /crucifixion /resurrection of Christ. Unlike some people out there.
When watching Hellboy the movie's strong ties to the Lovecraftian Tradition are obvious. In fact, Hellboy is the classiest on-screen depiction of the Cthulhu Mythos ever, so what's the Burroughs part? Well, it's the portal itself. As opened by Grigory Rasputin and his NAZI allies using a combination of post-industrial age technology and Victorian mysticism to bridge the galaxy and create a doorway to another ... something or other.
All this "portaling" around that goes on nowadays is the result of fledgling serialist Ed Burroughs way back in 1911 having to figure out how to get John Carter forty-eight million miles to Mars in Dejah Thoris, Martian Princess. And his solution was to portal him there using a mystic Arizonian indian cave location and Carter's own warrior spirit to portal Captain John Carter to Mars ( the planetary body that represents the god of his vocation). But Burroughs wasn't H.G. Wells so he didn't give a fig about trying to make sense of exactly how and why it happened enough to satisfy a whole society of Fabian critics... so who cares? Ever since, Sci-fi- writers have gone to some great lengths to explain the variable combinations of science, magic, technology, witchcraft, cosmic hypnotism, energy, spoken incantations, will of god(s) or devil(s), spaceships, mysticism, cracks on the 'noggin, hallucinatoric drug use and just plain dumb luck that they've used in pulp fiction to get their heros to places extra-earth in time, space and dimension to where all the fun is.
Anyway, post Burroughs portaling in science fiction, fantasy and horror is something that never really has to be explained, it just happens - forget it and move along. Somewhat contemporaneously, in the Lovecraftian Tradition, that portal is expanded into the doorway that allows monstrous evil gods and giants travel to earth from different galaxies and dimensions to cause us b-i-g trouble. These things do have basis in bible stories and Renaissance Fantastic Literature - but nevermind about that stuff now.
Hellboy himself, as a baby demon, gets portaled to a castle in Scotland from another universe in 1944 because of the action of secret paranormal NAZI scientist goons under the direction of Adolph Hitler who then fall under the attack of a squad of American dog-faces under the secret direction of Franklin Roosevelt. And, surprisingly, this all makes perfect sense as it is presented in the movie. Of course, the headlong battling between good and evil and evil and good and evil and evil help too.
And that's the great thing about Hellboy. It doesn't drag anywhere and does an adequate enough job of palming off an explanation of just what the heck is going on here, and moves quickly along enough that you won't have to listen to some braying, sofa-jockey demanding to know why,
"If that Gandalf The Great fellow is such a great wizard how come he doesn't just conjure up a bazooka and shoot that flying thing out of the sky?"
Yes, we all know THAT person ... Hellboy shuts 'em up, but good.
originally Posted by Tom Novak on August 3, 2004 - before he ever even had his own category here ... gosh, those were the days.
I used to watch "Ultraman" all the time as a kid, and I loved it!!!
Posted by Bob Wallace, who had nightmares about the monsters.
"The Omega Man" was my favorite Heston film!
Posted by Bob Wallace, who was always creeped out by Anthony Zerbe.
Michael Dunn (October 20, 1934 – August 30, 1973) was an American actor and singer who shunned the usual "cute" typecasting of dwarf actors and sought serious roles requiring dramatic skill. He was a trailblazer who ultimately inspired a generation of dedicated actors with extreme short stature, including Zelda Rubinstein, Mark Povinelli, and Ricardo Gil.
He was a dwarf (in the medical sense of disproportionate short stature) as a result of spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia (SED, subtype unknown), a genetic defect of cartilage production caused by a mutation in the COL2A1 (type II collagen) gene. This disorder, classified as a skeletal dysplasia, caused distorted development of his limbs, spine, and ribcage and led to early, widespread osteoarthritis and constricted lung growth. As an adult, he stood 3' 10" and weighed about 78 pounds (117 cm, 35 kg). During Dunn's lifetime, his condition was described by the nonspecific term "progressive chondrodystrophy," or alternatively as "achondroplasia," a term that now refers specifically to a skeletal dysplasia caused by a defect in the gene for fibroblast growth factor receptor 3.
He was born Gary Neil Miller to Jewell Miller (née Hilly) and Fred B. Miller of Fargo, Oklahoma in Shattuck, Oklahoma, during the time of the Dust Bowl drought. He chose his stage name in order to differentiate himself from another Gary Miller in Screen Actors Guild. ("Dunn" was his maternal grandmother's maiden name, but his reason for choosing "Michael" is unknown and not derived from his monastic experience in 1958.) He was an only child. When he was four, his family moved to Dearborn, Michigan.
Dunn was gifted intellectually and musically. He started reading at age three, was champion of the 1947 Detroit News Spelling Bee—representing Wallaceville School in Wayne County—and showed early skill at the piano. He enjoyed singing from childhood, loved to draw an impromptu audience (even while waiting for a bus), and developed a pleasing lyric baritone and superb sight-reading skills. His parents defied pressure from school authorities to sequester him in a school for disabled children and staunchly supported his talents, independence, and integration into mainstream society. "I always got thrown out of classes for being too lippy," he commented about his experience with elementary school teachers. "I'd read more than they." His orthopedic condition greatly limited his mobility, but he swam and ice skated in childhood and remained a skilled swimmer throughout his life.
He attended Redford High School in Detroit (1947-1951), then entered University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in September, 1951, just before his 17th birthday. However, according to his Columbia Studios press kit biography, his studies were interrupted when he was knocked down a flight of stairs during a "student rush," which resulted a three-month hospital stay.
In 1953, he transferred to the University of Miami, College of Arts and Sciences, which offered a better climate and more accessible campus. His transcript shows that, despite scoring at the 97th percentile of ACE placement exams and the 99th percentile of the CTS English test, he did not distinguish himself academically. However, he was a high spirited and well known figure about campus who sang in the talent show and facetiously joined the football cheerleading squad. Archives at that university's Otto G. Richter Library show that he became first a copyeditor and a contributing writer, then managing editor in 1954 of the college magazine, Tempo. (Contrary to information that later appeared in his Columbia Studios biography, Dunn could not take credit for Tempo winning the Sigma Delta Chi award for best college magazine in the country, since credit went to the Editor-in-Chief.) His classmate John Softness recalled, "He could sing like an angel, and he could act and he could write and he was a brilliant raconteur." Softness ran a campus-wide advertising campaign called "Wheels for Gary," which brought in enough money from student donations to buy a used 1951 Austin outfitted with hand controls, so that Dunn could get around independently.
At various points, he held different odd jobs—singing in a nightclub, answering telephones for the Miami Daily News, and working as a "hotel detective." ("What a gaff! I got my room free and all I did was play cards with the night clerk and keep an eye open for any funny business in the lobby. Who would ever suspect me of being a detective?") He left college in 1956 after completing only his sophomore year, returned to Michigan, and attended summer classes at the University of Detroit, in 1957.
Dunn had converted to Catholicism (probably from Methodism-Episcopalianism, judging by his parents' marriage certificate) and was baptized on September 25, 1954, by Rev. J. M. O'Sullivan at Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables, Florida. He was living in Ann Arbor with his parents, working as a professional singer, at the time he entered St. Bonaventure Monastery in Detroit, on February 25, 1958. According to a Capuchin Provincial Archivist, Dunn entered with the intention of becoming a Capuchin non-ordained Brother. He was known by his given name, Gary, since he never became a novice. A testimonial from John F. Bradley, Catholic Chaplain, University of Michigan, states: "He has always been interested in Catholic activities and was president of the Newman Club in another school." In response to a question on the monastery application asking: "How long have you been thinking of entering religious life?" Dunn wrote, "More than three years." Dunn was later quoted in the New York Post explaining that he had wanted to be of service, since he was unfit for the military: "Everyone my age was going to Korea and I had this feeling that singing wasn't exactly doing my part." However, monastery records entered by the Master of Novices show that the physical demands of monastic life in a huge, 19th-century building with no elevator proved too strenuous. Dunn left of his own accord on May 8, 1958, in order to pursue a stage career in New York.
In New York, Dunn re-encountered Softness, who volunteered to be his manager. He also befriended actress Phoebe Dorin in an off Broadway show, "Two by Saroyan," in which both had small parts in the early 1960s. They began singing together casually after their nighttime performances, sitting on the wall of the fountain opposite the Plaza Hotel, and drew a following. Eventually, on the advice of fellow actor Roddy McDowall, the pair started a nightclub act of songs mixed with conversational patter, titled "Michael Dunn and Phoebe." The act received favorable reviews in Time magazine and The New York Times and ultimately led directly to the pair being cast on The Wild Wild West television series, a Western spy spoof with elements of historical fiction and science fiction, which debuted in 1965.
Dunn was probably best known for his recurring role on that series as Dr. Miguelito Loveless, a mad scientist who devised passionately perverse schemes and gadgetry to ensnare Secret Service agents James West and Artemus Gordon (Robert Conrad and Ross Martin). Dorin played Dr. Loveless's devoted assistant, Antoinette. In each episode in which they appeared together, the villainous couple tenderly sang a Victorian duet or two, heedless of the mayhem they had created around themselves. According to Dorin, Dunn saved her from drowning during filming of the episode, The Night of the Murderous Spring, plunging underwater to tear her free, when her costume became entangled in machinery used to sink a boat on the set.
In the pilot episode of the Mel Brooks and Buck Henry television spy spoof Get Smart, Dunn showed his skill with comic farce as the well heeled gangster Mr. Big, leader of international crime organization K.A.O.S. (September 18, 1965). He also gained wide exposure in his role as Alexander, a courageous court jester, in the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" (November 22, 1968). The role showed off both his dramatic and singing skills—as well as the scriptwriter's obscure knowledge of the Classics. (Alexander caps his solo about the Greek god Pan with a guttural, onomatopoeic quotation—"brekekekex, koax, koax"—from the Aristophanes comedy, The Frogs, written in about 405 B.C.) He also appeared in an episode of Bonanza, "It's A Small World" (January 4, 1970), portraying a recently widowed circus performer trying to start a new life. Dunn is not on record with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for ever having received an Emmy nomination, either local or national, for any of his TV appearances, despite contrary information in his Associated Press obituary, which was widely distributed.
On the live stage, in 1963, he received the New York critics' Circle Award for best supporting actor and was nominated for a 1964 Tony Award, for his role as Cousin Lymon in Edward Albee's intense stage adaptation of The Ballad of the Sad Café, by Carson McCullers. He also received an Oscar nomination and the Laurel Award as the best supporting actor for his role as the cynical Karl Glocken in Ship of Fools (Columbia Pictures, 1965, directed by Stanley Kramer). In 1969, The New York Times drama critic Clive Barnes praised Dunn's portrayal of Antaeus in the tragedy The Inner Journey, performed at Lincoln Center: "Michael Dunn as the dwarf is so good that the play may be worth seeing merely for him. Controlled, with his heart turned inward, his mind a pattern of pain, Mr. Dunn's Antaeus deserves all the praise it can be given."
Between those career highlights, he accepted roles in many pulp horror movies. However, at the time of his death, he was in London playing Birgito in The Abdication (Warner Brothers, 1974, directed by Anthony Harvey), starring Peter Finch and Liv Ullmann. In addition, author Günter Grass had already asked him to play in a film adaptation of his novel, The Tin Drum, a role that ultimately went to the young David Bennent after Dunn's death.
Dunn has been described as a ladies' man with a great deal of charm. He was married on December 14, 1966 to Joy Talbot, reportedly a burlesque dancer with mercenary motives. (Motion Picture magazine described her as a model, in a photo caption in the March, 1967 issue.) The union was unhappy and ended in divorce after a few years. He had no children. He developed into a dedicated philanthropist toward children with dwarfism who would write fan letters to him confiding their loneliness and despair. According to Dorin, Dunn often traveled to visit such children at his own expense, delivering encouragement to them and stern counsel to overprotective parents.
His mobility and physical stamina were poor and deteriorated throughout his brief life. He suffered especially from deformed hip joints (due either to hip dysplasia or coxa vara, with secondary osteoarthritis). However, he scampishly disguised his limitations by telling tall tales that a gullible press eagerly reported as the truth. Various accounts describe him as an aviator, skydiver, judo master, football player, and concert pianist, despite clear evidence on film of a severe, waddling limp, permanently flexed limbs, and gnarled fingers. In published interviews, he did hint at his childhood limitations both in football—"I was a great passer"—and in baseball: "I wasn't a very fast runner. I had to depend on sliding. Working in New York, Dunn reportedly accrued masses of parking tickets, since disabled drivers had no special privileges. He also received human transport from friend and stuntman Dean Selmier, who often carried Dunn on his shoulders through the streets of Manhattan.
Spinal deformities including scoliosis caused a distorted ribcage that restricted Dunn's lung growth and function. The resulting respiratory insufficiency caused overload of the heart's right chambers, a chronic condition called cor pulmonale. He died in his sleep in his room at the Cadogan Hotel in London, on August 30, 1973, at age 38, while on location for The Abdication.
The New York Times reported his cause of death as undisclosed, leading to decades of repeated public speculation about possible suicide. However, the designation "undisclosed" signified merely that no cause of death had yet been determined. An autopsy was performed on August 31st, 1973, by a Professor R. D. Teare at St. George's Hospital in southwest London, who noted: "The right side of the heart was widely dilated and hypertrophied to twice its normal thickness. The left ventricle was normal in size." He recorded the cause of death as cor pulmonale. This information is confirmed in the "Report of the Death of an American Citizen" from the U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service, American Embassy in London, made out on October 12, 1973, by Micaela A. Cella, Vice Consul. The report is on record in the U.S. National Archives in College Park, MD.
A careless London physician named Bell likely hastened Dunn's demise, by prescribing and administering two narcotics and a barbiturate for severe arthritic pain, despite the extreme risk of inducing respiratory depression, apnea, and death in a patient with decreased respiratory reserve. Nonetheless, Dunn probably needed the drugs in order to tolerate the physical demands of shooting a movie. The autopsy's finding of intense vascular congestion in the lungs also suggests the possibility that a rapidly progressive pneumonia may have been developing.
Allegations of chronic alcoholism are unsubstantiated by the autopsy report, which notes only venous congestion of the liver—presumably secondary to Dunn's right-heart failure—without cirrhosis, and without inflammation of the stomach lining or pancreas. One consequence of such liver dysfunction would be jaundice. Another would be intoxication after drinking even small amounts of alcohol, as well as a toxic reaction to the prescribed drugs--either of which could also induce altered mental status (such as disorientation, delusions, faulty memory). This may explain the family's report that Dunn sent home a strange telegram "shortly before his death." ("I'm OK. The cops are looking.") Rumors of foul play and theft of the body are completely unsubstantiated by Scotland Yard.
Remarkably, despite being severely ill and in great pain, Dunn continued working nearly up to the day of his death, living up to his own description of himself as "a both-feet jumper." He was buried September 10, 1973, in Lauderdale Memorial Park Cemetery, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, near his parents' retirement home in Lauderhill. In July, 2007, a first cousin with her spouse and grandson had his remains disinterred and drove them to Oklahoma, reburying them near his parents' graves in Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery, Norman, Oklahoma. The relatives took the action out of respect for the wishes of the late Fred (d. 1981) and Jewell Miller (d. 1990).
Posted by Bob Wallace, who sez, he was the only reason I watched The Wild Wild West.
Satan in High Heels!
Posted by Bob Wallace, who sez, thank God for Netflix!
Then there's "Wait Until Dark," with the scariest villain ever, Harry Roat, Jr.
Posted by Bob Wallace, who saw it as a kid...and everyone in the audience screamed when Roat came flying out of the shadows.
I had never in my life heard of "The Night of the Hunter" until about 20 years ago, when I happened to see it on TV. I thought, what the hell is this? Why has it only been on TV once? Why have I never heard of it?
Posted by Bob Wallace, who always remember Shelly Winters...her hair floating in the current.