While we are off vacationing in the warm weather - here is an interview with The Amazing Pumpsterdamus. By the way, in the interview I use the word "shehechayanu"; it's a blessing said the first time someone does an activity either for the first time that year, or the first time ever. Click play, enjoy, and Have a Happy Hannukah and a Happy New Year!
Sunday, December 25, 2005
While we are off vacationing in the warm weather - here is an interview with The Amazing Pumpsterdamus. By the way, in the interview I use the word "shehechayanu"; it's a blessing said the first time someone does an activity either for the first time that year, or the first time ever. Click play, enjoy, and Have a Happy Hannukah and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Oy to be a Jew on Christmas.. Talk about being left out of all the excitement! Usually, this time of year, I am already planning where I will spend New Year's Eve watching Dick Clark... who I hope will be ok enough to be at Times Square. However this year, due to the lateness of the lunar calendar, Hannukah will actually coincide with Christmas. so actually we won't be feeling as left out as usual. Channel 7 actually mentioned how many shopping days are left for Christmas AND Hannukah.. much to the dismay I'm sure of pondscum like Bill O'Reilly who is furious with store chains that say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas" even though he is fully aware that not everybody in our society participates in the holiday.
What does a Jew do on Xmas? Well.... I don't eat Chinese food! My traditions are well rooted and have followed true to form for many years. Up until I met my wife on 12-29-2001, Christmas Eve involved the traditional trip to the Jewish shmingles dance. The annual meet market consisted of thousands of hot city babes whose alcohol intoxication never quite reached the peak I was hoping for them to achieve beer goggles. (I'm bored, you're drunk.... Deal or No Deal?) Nonetheless, there were always some interesting people there, and although I don't think I ever met a woman at an xmas eve singles event, I used to go because there was nothing else to do.
Nonetheless Xmas day was THE day for my regular movie trifecta. "A Christmas Story", "Scrooged" and a nightcap of "It's a Wonderful Life" are part of my regular movie watching habits. This year I will be traveling on Xmas day throwing things a bit out of whack. Now with travel and connecting flights I have to scramble to keep up my tradition of seeing all 3 movies. ACS will run all day on TBS... that wont be too difficult, and IAWL is on NBC on Christmas Eve this year...(they're showing Law and Order Criminal Intent on Christmas Night!.. and it's not a Goren episode!!)... and Scrooged will run at 12 midnight Sunday night coinciding with my hotel check in. assuming the flight is punctual..
Here are my thoughts on the 3 films....
A CHRISTMAS STORY - 24 consecutive hours on TNT starting Christmas Eve at 8pm. skip the first two showings to catch "It's a Wonderful Life"
- It took a while for it to catch on with me, and I don't recall liking it that much when I first saw it. But back in the early 90s I recall DangerSpouse raving about it... and since I knew his mind was warped I decided to revisit it. Since then, my daily activities are planned around the TBS marathon. By the way, the NFL is moving its games to Sat for the wknd with a Sunday twinbill at 5 and 830pm. The Viking game at 830 may affect the Giants, so you might want to plan around that.
Im not sure why I like this movie so much now, and I sound like those goofballs that go see Rocky Horror. My wife is NOT a big movie buff but every year she joins me when I yell out the lines such as "You'll shoot your eye out and Fa ra ra ra". Then every package we see for the next 3 months marked fragile is greeted with "Fragileeeee, it must be Italian". It drives them nuts at the post office and we actually are banned from there until Baseball season!
The movie is about a kid who wants a bb gun although everyone tells him he'll shoot his eye out. But there really is no plot. It's just a Jean Shepherd story about familiy life in the midwest and how the kids always looked forward to the holiday season. Shepherd narrates the movie, as we watch the hijinks involving this wacko family who somehow manage to pull it all together... but not before an eventful flat tire that leads to a major frame up involving who taught our hero the "F-word" and a Santa Claus that sends kids on their merry way by stepping on their heads as he pushes them down a long sliding pond. Watch the mall scene closely and you'll see a cameo appearance by Jean Shepherd. It's just a charming movie that grows on you with a liberal use of fantasy flashbacks that undoubtedly inspired Seth McFarlane when he created "The Family Guy".
One casting note: the great Darren McGavin plays the father in the movie.. he of the classic late lamented (and poorly remade) Night Stalker. Just the other day the word Glockenshpiel came up in conversation.
SCROOGED. Sunday night at Midnight on TBS
Since I grew up in a Jewish home, I really wasn't too acquainted with the Scrooge story. Therefore I really only know the basic premises. In this movie, Bill Murray plays an absolutely miserable human being who through a bizarre miracle gets a chance to see that his life could indeed be happier... wait a minute that's the premise for Groundhog Day!
Nonetheless, Murray runs a TV station and insists that his entire staff work Xmas eve to stage a live production of "A Christmas Carol". Then he starts to get visits from the various Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present not to mention a psycho who takes the control room hostage in an understated performance by Bobcat Goldthwaite...(whatever did happen to Bobcat?)
Watching Murray get his comeuppance and showing how he transforms himself caps up with a finale of "Put a little love in your heart".... that will have you humming the tune till New Years!
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - Saturday night at 8pm on NBC
Movie #3 is "Its a Wonderful Life". Years ago this movie was in the public domain and could be shown by all the stations and aired 2x a day. Eventually it was a bit of overkill. Then NBC obtained exclusive rights to it and now they only show it 2x a year. The movie stars Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey who decides to chuck it all and jump off a bridge after his life SEEMS to fall apart. But along comes his guardian angel who shows him how life would have been had he never been born....
Heres an interesting factoid. For years I had been a big fan of The Dick Van Dyke Show.... it was produced by Sheldon Leonard. He played the bartender in the movie and actually took the role so he would have enough money to buy Dodgers tickets! He also did a week on the old Match Game that ran earlier this year on GSN. Well, my lovely wife had told me that there was a relative who had acted in the old days with Abbott and Costello. What she didn't tell me it was in the movie Abbott and Costello meet the Invisible Man! It was only earlier this year that I found out that her distant cousin was Sheldon Leonard!
Theres something sweet about this movie and Frank Capra directed himself a masterpiece. The ending is absolutely fantastic and those who watch it for the first time, if they can set aside the shmaltz, tend to shed a tear. Theres even two buddies named Ernie and Bert! Lionel Barrymore also does a fantastic job playing Mr. Potter, the resident villian who throws everbody's life in disarray. When George can't save the day, he despondently heads to the bridge where "Clarence" takes him on an adventure that changes his entire perspective and actually makes sad sack George feel kind of happy.
The concept of someone jumping off a bridge only to be intercepted by your
guardian makes you think a bit. Just imagine these scenarios if people took... The Clarence Tour:
1. If a New Square chusid was to jump off a bridge from the women's side.. Would the angel make him cross the street to the other side of the bridge first, before he took him back to see what life would have been like had he never been born.
2. If Don McLean stood on the bridge and took the Clarence Tour.. Would people think Madonna's hideous remake of "American Pie" was actually a good song?
3. How about Ted Kennedy? Insert your own Chappaquiddick joke here.
4. And... Jerry Bruckheimer? CBS would have UPN-esque ratings and David Caruso and Emily Procter would still be relegated to B-movie status, such as Procter's "Breast Men" which by the way is on sale at Pathmark for 7.99. Of course I bought it because I'm a big Chris Cooper fan. You're not doubting me? Hellooo... go see "Adaptation" and "Seabiscuit" back to back, and just tell me he's not a great actor!
5. Let's say George Bush was standing up there.. Just think how wonderful life would be according to Clarence.The country would be in much better shape, Valerie Plame would have a job, and there would be a few thousand more of our soldiers who fought this absurd war in Iraq, alive and well and watching the Christmas Story marathon with their families..
Here we go with the Christmas bladder scale ... on a scale of one to four
bladders...how less likely you would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom....
Scrooged gets 3 bladders
A Christmas Story falls just short with 3 and a half bladders.....
It's a Wonderful Life....It's a 4 bladder movie!!!
Happy Holidays Everybody.. Except Bill O'Reilly...
And A HEALTHY New Year to Prime Minister Sharon and Dick Clark!!
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Here's my chusid disclosure: I have met many chusids in my day, and they truly are the nicest well meaning good hearted people. Granted we don't have a lot in common to talk about since they don't know anything about TV, movies or The Mets.. But there is some inherent sweetness about them. Then we have the chusid rabbis..
When I saw M Night Smalayan's "The Village".. it didn't take me long to figure out the ending. Maybe because I think many of the chusid Rabbis want their peeps to live like the characters in "The Village". I've read their newspaper of record - Hamodia,. a sanitized newspaper whose editorial policies are based on edicts issued by the rabbis. The paper is micromanaged by a Rabbi who stands over the editor like a lightweight hovers over the porcelain throne on New Years Morning after a few too many. The newspaper bans all pictures of women (since the male readership shouldn't be looking at photos of fully dressed women) and does not cover any sports.
Here are a couple of recent tidbits from the Editorial Pages:
I. A recent editorial "A Counterfeit Vision of Judaism" which addressed the Reform movements convention in Houston. Why they would even care about Reform is besides the point. They use quotes when they refer to the word Rabbi in discussing a speech made by the Union for Reform Judaism's president Rabbi Eric Yoffie. That could be viewed as an unnecessary cheap shot.
So Yoffie.. A nice Jewish man who lives nearby in Union County, gave a speech addressing the problems of intermarriage in society. He made a point that Judaism should reach out to the non Jewish spouse in an intermarried couple and encourage them to convert to Judaism if they want to. Hamodia's coverage: "It is a mitzvah he paskened (with paskened in italics; more sarcasm), to help a potential Jew become a Jew by choice. To promote that goal, Yoffie called for public conversion ceremonies".
The editorial blasts this idea as the "absolute antithesis of authentic Judaism", and says it's really an attempt to bolster membership at Reform temples. Hellooooooooooo! The chusids have very wisely buffered themselves from intermarriage..(not homosexuality - I saw Trembling Before G-d). In our world, intermarriage is rampant and quite honestly most intermarried couples end up going down the non Judaic road when it comes to raising the kids. Our society has so commercialized holidays such as Halloween and Christmas. And lets face it, when it comes to kids with mixed parents are they going to get a costume for Purim or Halloween?
I think the Reform movement has caught on to this too. This proposal may be a good idea when all is said and done before the Jewish roots of these families become nothing more than a memory of the Jewish grandmother Goldberg who has those Passover dinners every year that coincide with Opening day for baseball/NCAA tournament/ Chris's lacrosse game, etc. What really grinds my gears are my fellow Jews who work on the 2nd day of Rosh Hashana. A few years back, the second day was Friday and a lot of people went to work, yet these same people would shudder with horror if their employer asked them to come to work on Thanksgiving Friday. I'm not talking about a business owner who would face a hardship, but rather employees who don't want to burn a vacation day.
That same editorial briefly mentions another aspect of the Yoffie speech that they would not even address since it was inappropriate for their audience. However, The Metrowest Jewish News did a write up about this, and it turned out to be the topic was teaching sex ed in the Hebrew Schools. That in itself shouldn't be too controversial although Yoffies comments essentially saying that the cirricullum not necessarily endorse abstinence could be viewed as somewhat questionable..
2. A letter to the editor told the story with great horror about a woman who employed a Latina non Jew in her home to clean or watch her kids who gevalt.. put a non kosher chicken in the microwave! The woman suggested as per her rabbi that these employees be informed that friends of the homeowner have keys to the home and tend to drop in unannounced. But, since the home is a place for work, the employer should be responsible for providing food for the worker if the worker can't leave the home to eat out. And, it doesn't take much to learn the Spanish words to not bring outside food into the house because the home is kosher. All you say is "POR FAVOR, NO SE PERMITA COMIDA EN LA CASA" I think that is a better idea than creating an environment of distrust.
There are also some other interesting highlights such as an editors note stuck into a review of Natan Scharansky's book stating that the article in no way implies that reading a secular book is an acceptable form of behavior. Or a recent interview with Mayor Bloomberg where he mentions the NAACP.. The editor actually explained in parentheses what the organization is, because they thought many of their readers never heard of it. What's the deal with the secular education there? One chusid blogger actually had a debate about the merits of getting a secular education. A debate in this global marketplace about being educated and making a living to feed a large family? This is something one debates?
By now you may have heard about Lakewood's ban of internet use. The Rabbis there have said that children will be expelled from school if non permitted internet access is going on in their parent's home. (Exceptions are made if the father needs the comp for work, but. restrictions may apply!) The same goes for the Lakewood Blue Claws minor league baseball games. Joe Schick's Zionist Conspiracy blog says if you're caught at a Blue Claws game, zei gezunt.. your kids are being tossed out of school. The idea that these fathers are told they can't take their sons to the ballpark is absolutely preposterous.
The segregation of the sexes goes pretty far also. According to Orthodox, women and men must sit separately during services. These rabbis seem to go too far in their attempts to separate the genders. Let me tell you about New Square, a private community that Im sure doesn't have pool parties and July 4th barbecues. In New Square, separation of the sexes goes so far that men walk on one side of the street.. and women on the other. I wonder what happens if you need to go to a store down the street. Do you cross the street, walk the block, and then cross again? And since women are considered immodest if they are seen in non proper ways, they are banned from riding in the front seat of the car. Which means they are not allowed to drive. An exception has been made for an 80 year old resident who was "grand mothered" in after she complained that she didn't want to give up her privileges. Incidentally, that may not be such a bad rule, since knowing another driver is not a woman severely limits the vulgar repertoire that flies out of my mouth when I get cut off in traffic!
You'd think it's too bad that we couldn't hear the chusid's version of all this on the web. After all internet access is banned in their communities. Welcome to the world of the rebel bloggers. Many chusids have blogs, and some are quite interesting. Some are also phony such as the woman who claims she became a lesbian and made her husband move into the guest room when her lover moved in and then proceeded to graphically discuss her sexual encounters using terminology that would make Judy Blume blush!
There is one woman in particular who has one of the better blogs out there. She saw the recent book "Unchosen" about the chusids who have rebelled against the community. This blogger was quite unhappy because she felt that the chusids got a raw deal. so she started her own blog and called it Rechosen. Shes from Willamsburg and in her mid 20s and her wildly popular blog gets a ton of responses. many of them from rebelling chusids who unfortuntately unfairly blast Rechosen for saying that her life in Williamsburg is peachy keen. (Rechosen is a bit of a rebel though since she cross references movies in her well written blog) Her blog started the same time mine did.. yet I don't get an iota of the responses she gets.. Keep in mind, I emailed all of my friends the link to this blog..while her readers are banned from the web!
Boy does that make me feel like a loser!
I think I'll cheer myself up and play some Dead records backwards.. If you listen really really closely you can actually hear Kahane speeches in the background.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
I'm no maven on the psyche of the Howard Stern listener. I know that they are incredibly loyal and have been flocking in droves to purchase their satellite radio receivers so they are ready and at attention once the king of all media launches his new program in January. It will be like Ralphie getting his decoder ready for the Little Orphan Annie show in A Christmas Story only to find out it was just an ad for Ovaltine. (More on that topic next week!)
I have been listening to Howard in the mornings for the last 2 years after not listening to his show for awhile, but before that I listened to him all the way back to his days on WNBC when they had N Copter traffic reports with Roz Frank, and later Donna Fiducia (now on that hideous Fox News Channel, ugh!). Those were the days when they used to do endless commercials for the Beanstalk restaurant in Rockefeller Center and Poe de Swa. Howard hit the New York AM Radio scene at just the right time. Prior to his arrival WABC musicradio was what all the cool kids listened to. I was a goofball however and listened to talk radio shows such as Mark Simone on WMCA. But once WABC dropped music and went to talk, AM music listeners had to find another station to flock to.
In the early days of WABC as a talk station, it hadn't yet filled its niche as being the right wing craziness that it is today. In the pre-Rush pre- Hannity era, morning drive was hosted by Ross and Wilson and afternoon drive was held down by call in shrink Dr. Toni Grant. A number of WABC listeners moved over to WNBC where music and personality radio filled the airwaves with Imus, Captain Frank and the All Request Radio Show, and the new "shock jock" Howard Stern in the afternoon. WNBC seemed to remain THE hip AM station until its demise in the late 80's when you could take your pick of WFAN with the newly reinvented Imus in the Morning and Pete Franklin in the afternoon, or the right emerging WABC which had Bob Grant, (recently dropped by WOR) hammering away on your eardrums every afternoon. (Your influence counts...use it. Get Khaddaffi). AM music is long gone, along with the WABC djs who hooked up on the much missed CBS-FM, but now after years of format changes, it all ends up going back to square one. WABC has dropped talk on Sat night for an oldies show hosted by.. Mark Simone!
Over the last year of so, I have set the alarm to Howard, I listen for about a half hour between smacks on the snooze bar and that is pretty much it. During my 15 minute drive to the office, I listen to the end of Imus which usually consists of a Chris Carlin sports report and the usual fat jokes, and then a call from Fred. (Does Chris have enough to do there? Morning sports, Giants pre and post game and Rutgers football! Take a day off and give someone else a chance).
Personally, I don't plan to jump on the Sirius or XM radio bandwagons just yet. I might get XM in the future for the baseball package but the reason I am waiting is exactly my forecast of radio listening for the future. Y'see radio isn't what it used to be and LISTENING HABITS CHANGE. Nowadays radio sponsors come up with all kinds of gimmicks to throw ads my way. (The 15th batter of the game is up.. Don't forget it takes just 15 minutes to save 15% with a car insurance quote from Geico)
Viewing habits change too. Back in the good ol’ days, TV Guide was a national small magazine with regional listings and articles about TV. But TV Guide realized that TV wasn't just used to watch shows. That's why they expanded their articles to include movies and video games. I collect TV Guides and I was just looking at the issue for the day my parents got married. Back in '64, they had an editorial about the new concept of paying to watch TV… a hybrid cable/video on demand that was called pay TV. The editorial was lukewarm at best about the prospects of the new concept and as you can see it took many years for it to catch on.. but it did.
By the way my parents got married the same time as a World Series game between St. Louis and the Yankees. Just in case you didn’t catch the results of 10-11-64, 66,312 people packed the Stadium and even though the Yankees scored 3 runs in the 1st inning to knock out Ray Sadecki, the Cards bounced back with 4 in the 6th to win the game 4-3 and even the Series at 2-2. Ron Taylor threw 4 hitless innings in that game.. He had 4 2/3 hitless innings during the series, but Bob Gibson won the MVP with 2 victories. The Cardinals won the Series in 7 games.
Listening habits change like viewing habits. As a kid, you liked the song. you bought the record. or the cassette tape. Along came the early 80s and presto. the arrival of the Sony Walkman. Now you could listen to tapes on the road in beautiful hi fi stereo. And. wasn't that around the time when cassette tape players became standard fare for new cars and not a luxurious extra.
After tapes came cds in the mid to late 80s. Remember those big cases they used to come in? Now our listening habits have changed yet again with ipods and mp3 players. No more records or tapes. And how have listening habits changed? A goofball like myself is able to post audio files on-line that can be downloaded into an mp3 player and listened to at any time. Amazingly Bill Gates is right about his prediction that computers will be integrated into every aspect of daily life. I'm waiting for the powerpoint projector that will beam reading material on the bathroom wall,. the length to be determined by a bowel scanner to that shows how long the person will need to read... Mexican restaurants might want to look into posting lengthy New York Times Magazine articles on their stalls should there ever be such an invention!
Ok.. So all these audio and video files are now posted on websites. Video on Demand on the web took off in 2005 on the all news websites such as CNN and MSNBC. (I don't know about Fox News. Not my type of network) As demonstrated on this very blog, cable modems and the more powerful pcs enable the viewer to hit a play button on an embedded video player and watch whatever he wants right on his comp. ABC recently announced that their nightly newscast co-anchors would also anchor a daily web cast along with their regular evening broadcasts AND with live feeds at 9:30 eastern time for the west coast. I’m sure that Elizabeth Vargas will skip out on that late newscast the first warm Friday in March!
Take Paul Harvey for example. Or any other radio commentator, Every day he has his commentary.. Oops.. I missed it today.. Lets check out his website. and in a Gates-ian prophecy there on the site is that day's commentary right there for your downloading convenience. But wait. won't it take away from the listeners who the advertisers (like Prune-ola) pay big money for? Not to worry.. there are sponsors on the websites too.
Getting back to baseball on XM. would I pay to hear every game? Not just yet. I can do it on the web for free. I don't hear the actual game.. but I can watch every play of every game every night and for now.. I can do without hearing the hometown announcer telling me that the 15 year old girls are chasing after Derek Jeter.. speaking of 15.. at Geico it takes just 15 minutes to save 15% on your car insurance!
No satellite radio for me just yet. Check back in six months or so. In the meanwhile let’s see what’s happening in Morning Drive in New York radio since Howard went to mornings in 1986. Is the Scott on PLJ the same Scott Shannon from the Z Morning Zoo?
Sunday, December 11, 2005
During the Holocaust, the Nazis used a gas called Zyklon B to exterminate millions of people just because they were not of the Aryan race. The chilling effect of the gas combined with the bodies created a sickly color that earned a name. The managers of this band were so proud of their Nazi forefathers that they decided to name that group after that effect. I won’t bother to name the group since they don’t need the free publicity. As a believer in free speech, these people have the right to say whatever they want…. But free speech means bloggers like myself can offer their 2 cents worth. And, here’s mine…..
Believe it or not, I have no issues with these little girls; I find them to be innocent pawns in a larger chess match. They are only young kids who really only know what they are taught. That comes from their mother April Gaede. She has spent the last few years trying to create a music empire that markets these children in a very sexualized way… and they are only 13 years old.
They are definitely not in a proper home… that’s for damn sure. Hate is a strong emotion,,… and people who hate other people hate one person more than anybody else… themselves. April is a perfect example of someone who hates herself, and has very little self respect. She channels this through her kids and releases videos of them playing a game that involves hopping around a swastika and wearing a white t-shirt with a Hitler smiley face. The twins’ grandfather uses a swastika to brand his horses. At least she has arranged to get them a polio vaccine… which by the way was discovered by a Jew! April, this fine pillar of society, as a protest about some bizarre cause rode on horseback through her town NAKED! She was arrested and the police thankfully quickly covered her with a blanket…. (which I hope was washed thoroughly before it was used for the drug addicts and hookers who pass through the county jail… they might catch something!)
According to other bloggers, Mama herself isn’t too popular among the men in her racist community, due to soured relationships with the MANY MANY men with whom she has shared amour. She also home schools her kids which means on any given day when its time for school to start, classes may have to wait for the gentlemen du jour to depart from the premises prior to the daily dose of Gaede’s view of history and other important things that young neo Nazis need to learn. There are people who feel bad for the kids and have called for their mother to give them up so they can be raised in a proper home. I don’t work for DYFS so who am I to tell this April woman to give up her kids?
Deutsch who usually has fluffier topics had a couple of lawyers who are the spokesmen for the various anti-semitic, anti-black groups that have embraced these girls. They have their spin down so well, they can drive an unprepared host in circles with their vague answers that never really address the questions posted to them. These people have the right to say their piece, but its up to the host to be well prepared with good comebacks, so these hatemongers say just enough to show viewers what type of people they really are. All these “spokesmen” sidestep the race question with some kind of mumbo jumbo “patriotism” drivel interspersed with cracks about their Holocaust revisionist theories.
Remember a few years ago when those cute little Olsen twins were approaching their 18th birthdays? All the little teenyboppers were hoping just hoping that Olsen adulthood would mean a Playboy centerfold…. It hasn‘t happened, and for the record I don‘t think the handlers who have skillfully managed The Olsens really presented them as “sexy“ teens. I always thought of them as the little cutie pie on “Full House”.
After seeing how April has exploited her daughters, some might be waiting to see if the Nazi twins (who have NOTHING in common with the sweet Olsen twins other than being twins themselves) will go the porn route when its legally allowable… Here’s my prediction…..NEVER!… those twins will have so many stretch marks from the children they will give birth to in their teen years, that the best airbrushers won’t be able to clean them up.
And as for people who want to rescue these sweet innocent children from this mother before things get to the point of no return……. It looks like the damage is done. It‘s amazing in this country, you need to pass a test to get a driver‘s license, but sadly you don‘t need to pass a test to be a parent.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Here is a very short movie clip of the paparazzi stalking me… actually it’s my sweet wife asking me about the blog. Hit play to see it, and while you wait for it to load… feast your eyes on my review of Star Wars II. (Thanks to FreeVideoCoding.com for helping me with the code!)
So since the Bible starts with Adam… so will this review.
Adam… a friend of mine in VA sent me an email after my review of Star Wars I saying I was mistaken to say it was a stretch how absurd it is that little Annikin Skywalker saved the world. “Obviously”, he emailed me, “you just don’t understand the power of The Force!’. And that’s true… I liked the special effects in the first movie, but frankly the story bored me and I thought a lot of the twists were preposterous..
I remember when Star Wars II came out because Triumph the Insult Comic Dog went to an opening and heckled the sci fi fans with some of his funniest lines ever broadcast. Speaking of Triumph I decided to pop in his dvd “Come Poop with Me”. The bad news is the video production quality is awful…the video posted here by my lovely wife has better standards than CPWM. The content for the most part is somewhat funny… it features a show done by the dog at Irving Plaza. There are some very amusing moments…. A song about roundworms is quite original, along with a hard rock duet with Jack Black that blasts game show legend Bob Barker’s signoff about having your dog neutered. I never thought about the dog’s perspective on this issue! Some of the bits just don’t click, such as an interview with Janeane Garafolo, and others are slightly amusing such as a chat with an apparently intoxicated Dell Guy….The highlight was probably a song about cats that manages to use the most offensive word in the English language in a rather non-offensive way…. There is also a cd that features some amusing obscene phone calls.
As for Attack of the Clones, I really liked this movie. The force is very apparent in this film…as the story takes place approximately 10 years after the Phantom Menace. I would assume that Annikin is about 18-20 at this point…and boy does he have women issues.. He’s obsessed with his mother, and his hormones are raging for the hot little Queen…… She has gone from being the Queen to being a senator. That might also happen in Massachusetts if Senator Ted Kennedy retires and is replaced by Barney Frank.
Well all hell is breaking loose in our little universe. Natalie Portman’s character has been the target of an assassination attempt which instead claimed the life of her queen/senator impostor. This brings Annakin back to the fold because he and a now bearded Obie wan Kenobie are called in to keep an eye on her. I must have 24 withdrawal because again, the plot resembles a 24 episode where Obie is Jack Bauer and Annakin is his annoying daughter Kim… except with Chloe’s emotional baggage.
A woman tries to kill the Senator and after a wild breathtaking chase scene in the first half hour she fesses up in her last moments about a bounty hunter who hired her for the dastardly deed. Here’s where the trouble starts… Obie is off to find the bounty hunter and Horny boy sky walker gets to be Natalie Portman’s bodyguard. Jedis are not allowed to pursue women, but then again Catholic priests are not allowed to act on their urges towards young fellas. It doesn’t take long for Annakin to start his pursuit of the lovely Senator.
This is where the movie takes a very ugly turn. Annakin decides to go back to his home planet to see his mom. It also reunites us with C3P0 who sounds very much like an adult Stewie Griffin. Mama Skywalker has been kidnapped… and Annakin finds her.. just moments before she dies. Annakin isn’t too thrilled with this and proceeds to kill not only the kidnappers but also the women and children in the village. He confesses this to Portman who just writes it off to a bad day for her much younger paramour and ooh la la lets pursue our budding romance. Isn’t it kind of weird for Portman’s character to lust for someone who she knew when he was a child? Isn’t this something you would expect to see in a Woody Allen movie? Isn’t this Annnakin kind of disturbing? This is an aspring Jedi?
While Annakin if off getting lucky and killing women and children,….. Obie does the hard work. He finds the bounty hunter on a planet whose identity has been removed from all of the maps. Upon arriving there he finds out that the dude has cloned himself thousands of times and created a huge army! An army for a war that the Jedi would like to avoid at all costs… but it can’t be prevented.. That’s why the movies are called Star WARS…. and there are still 4 more movies to go! (If there were no war.. they would have called it something else… maybe Star Jones? .She still doesn’t look good despite the weight loss!)
Our poor Obie gets himself into deep doo doo thanks to the jedi who was his master’s master, played fantastically by Christopher Lee. The only way he bails out is the army comes to his rescue. Nobody saw it coming that the Jedi would have such a strong army so quickly….. It was like the feeling Israel’s enemies had after they decided to launch an attack one day after it became a state in 1948.... Incidentally, the army that saved the jedi came to fruition thanks to the effort of the much maligned Jar Jar Binks who sponsored the legislation that gave the Chancellor the emergency powers he needed to create the aforementioned army. Little did we know at the time that the Chancellor isn’t really such a good guy. Well maybe you people knew.. But I sure as heck didn’t have a clue.
And of course, Adam is right… I really don’t know too much about the Force, and frankly this Annakin is a real head case. I do like Yoda however… a little 2 foot 700 year old gremlin looking character who like Jar Jar is a result of computer animation…. although I recall reading he is a puppet in the movies from the 70s and 80s. Yoda is THE man in my book. The little guy gets into a light saber fight with Christopher Lee which had the pregame odds similar to a sumo match between Emanuel Lewis and Shaquille O’Neill. I thought Lee was fantastic in that scene… even though during filming he stood on the sideline and watched his stunt double do all the work. Aw c’mon.. the guy was 80 at the time!
The movie was not made for me… it was made for the original Star Wars fans. Those fans who walked out of this movie eagerly anticipated Star Wars III to see how Lucas will thread the needle to the Star Wars 1977 movie. (some also ran to their 2002 “web logs” to complain about Triumph the Dog) But even though I am not a fan per se… I am also looking forward to Star Wars III…. And that’s just because I am curious to see how this whole thing turns out, not knowing how it will relate to 4,5, and 6.
Overall…. The plot and special effects were pretty damn good, Natalie Portman sure looked hot in that little white outfit.. … and the battle scenes are outstanding, ….. they are a cinematographic masterpiece. On a scale of 1 to 4 bladders meaning how likely I would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom…. Star Wars II gets three and a half bladders..... Come Poop with Me gets only 2 bladders.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Here are my nightly prime time observations….and insight into what I tend to watch on any given week.
SATURDAY - nothing to watch. Go out and enjoy yourself folks, the networks have abandoned Sat. night!
SUNDAY - I like The Simpsons, and The Family Guy - American Dad hour gets taped every week; I’ve already said I think FG is one of the best shows on the tube, and that AD musical number from a few weeks ago when they moved to Saudi Arabia was priceless. Despite the critics, I think Desperate Housewives is still relevant, but here’s where they missed the boat. Last year centered around Mary Alice’s mysterious death and she was the narrator “from the grave”. Well the mystery is solved. I think they should have had Rex narrate the show this season and focus more on his death this season. I also like Grey’s Anatomy but it’s just a 10 o’clock show to bridge the gap till the 11pm news (on channel 4 of course.. I stopped watching Channel 2 when they canned Warner Wolf). Is there a TV character sluttier than Meredith Grey? Who does she not have one night stands with? Last week’s one night Romeo was very excited to see her… and stayed excited… and stayed excited…
MONDAY - It’s the CBS lineup for now until 24 comes back. The only 2 new shows I watch are How I Met Your Mother and the one with Henry Winkler and Stockard Channing. Stockard looks great for her age! And Neil Patrick Harris from HIMYM is kind of cool… I’ve liked him since he was in "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle" Note to the film’s fact checkers… there’s a White Castle in Edison which is much closer to Bergen County than Princeton. Couldn‘t the boys just travel to Rutgers instead of Princeton and look for chics with the newly resingled President McCormick?
CSI Miami is priceless because you will never ever ever see an actor as awful as David Caruso! He's worse than William Shatner in his prime! And how about that Emily Proctor?… Homina homina homina! However, sometimes the stories get a bit preposterous. Recently, Proctor’s character was giving the sweet eyes to an investigator who had questioned and released a female suspect in a shooting. But low and behold the willowy blonde was feeling rather dejected when the fellow told her he hooked up elsewhere, although he said he would have pursued her had he not been told that she was unavailable. Well, our sweet little blonde had a revelation! Using Talmudic logic that would make Rashi blush, she realized that since he did not investigate her willingness to do the ol hocus mcpocus with him thoroughly enough… therefore she concluded that he also must not have been too thorough the with the aforementioned suspect. The suspect was promptly brought back in for questioning…. and she turned out to be the killer!!! Only CSI would have an arrogant narcissistic hot blonde get rejected and turn it into the solving of a crime! Although oddly enough, after my years of being single, I didn’t find that plot twist too unrealistic.
TUESDAY - I haven’t really been into The Amazing Race this year. Its really just Law and Order SVU for me. Sometimes however the show has too many twists and turns. Also, Criminal Intent which I catch in reruns is now starting to give it a run for the money in terms of quality to win the award as Best Law and Order.
WEDNESDAY - Lost - I don’t know what the heck is going on, nor do the writers.. But it’s a pretty entertaining show. I kind of wish the Mandy Patinkin detective show wasn’t on at the same time since I’m a big fan of his…I once saw him on the subway and amazingly nobody recognized him!!! I like CSI NY at 10pm but the wardrobe for Melina Kanakaredes is just a bit much. Do detectives really walk around with that much cleavage hanging out? I don’t remember Abe Vigoda walking around with a speedo on Barney Miller!
THURSDAY - CBS again. Survivor is pretty good although I have been out the last few Thursdays. It would have been neat if Gary Hogeboom had won. I hate the Cowboys but he played for them during the Landry Years when they were a classy team. Then it’s CSI and Without a Trace. I can’t name one character on WAT, but it has a very watchable formula.
FRIDAY - Just one show. The Ghost Whisperer. Does Jennifer Love Hewitt realize that tapes of this show will haunt her for her entire career? What was she thinking when she took this role? Did somebody blackmail her with nudie pix to get her to do that show? Wouldn’t the world be a better place if she just let the pictures out and allow CBS to show something else in that timeslot? Maybe unaired episodes of NBC’s Committed?
CBS has been kicking butt in the ratings… and for good reason. There really isn’t much on the other networks except Fox cartoons, the 2 ABC mega-hits from last season, and NBC’s Law and Orders.
Stay tuned for Wed. night when I will post my comments on Star Wars II. We will also have our first video clip posted on this blog!
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Oh how I miss the gold old days of typewriters and film and buying the newspaper and not having free porn at my fingertips. I really feel technology has gotten way out of control. Even as I type this on my comp that I bought in March of 2003, I can feel that the world has just bypassed my emachines T1842 with the 1.8 g processor and the 40g hard drive with the dial up modem.
I recently bought a laptop off ebay for work from a local guy, so I cut out the shipping fees. I try very hard not to take it out of its bag when I’m home with my sweetie. I thought about the possibility of gradually moving my files to the laptop… but in reality I really don’t do much on my home comp except write and surf the web. I recently bought the Dogs Playing Poker cd game and that took up so much memory I ultimately decided to delete it from the desktop and play cards with the doggies on the laptop instead. I also thought it was time to transfer my word files to the laptop….Off I went to Best Buy to get some recordable cd’s but of course unbeknownst to me both computers have cd roms so that was easier said then done. They also snagged me on a promotion where I get 6 free issues of Entertainment Weekly, so now I have to keep an eye on the calendar so I don’t get nailed with a full price subscription after week 7.
So, I decided to buy a digital camera to take pics for my ebay auctions. I had been using a cheapie one for the last few months… but it died an untimely death. It was the palm clix model that Amazing Savings sells for about 30 bucks. Let the buyer beware, the directions are so poorly written that if you miss a key step involving the driver installation, the camera will be beyond the point of no return. Here’s an excerpt from the well written manual that had been outsourced to who knows where…. “Via the internet, you can also send them (pictures) to your friend’s afar…(A girl I knew in college grew hair on her afar… she said it was very stylish)
Well, PC Richard had a good deal Thanksgiving week where you get the “employee discount”. I didn’t really want anything too spectacular… just a camera with MOVIE MODE AND SOUND. We saw one we liked, but decided to see what a couple of other places had on sale before we made a purchase. It was during this period that a buddy of mine called and said he wanted to get me a belated birthday/early Hannukah gift. I mentioned the camera…. And he said he would get one at Best Buy with movie mode and sound. I saw him on Wed. night, got the camera and he showed me the little holes in the speaker that are there for the microphone.
So Thanksgiving evening, my ol' pal Harmon and I are sitting on the couch watching the Cowboys lose, and we strike up a conversation about Rawhide… an infamous bar that used to be in Nyack. If you haven’t heard of it.. consider yourself deprived. They used to have an outrageous gimmick that will live in infamy, and I was only there one time in the early 90s shortly before it closed. I won’t even discuss it on this PG-13 rated blog.. but if you email me, I will fill you in on the details. So Harmon and I were reminiscing about the good old days, and my lovely wife had the new camera with her and decided to sneakily tape our happy Rawhide recap. That was when we discovered that the camera had no sound!
Y’see the Nikon Coolpix 4600 has no internal microphone, while the Coolpix 6600 does. But, it’s only when you read the manual that you discover that the 6600 and 4600 have the same shell… but the 4600 is just a bunch of holes… (insert your own joke here about my college friend’s afar) Well, back we went to Best Buy but we didn’t have a gift receipt and even though we planned to upgrade to the 6600 they basically told us to go screw ourselves. Keep in mind the original BB salesman erroneously told my buddy that the 4600 has sound.. but they didn’t seem to care. We called Nikon and they actually downplayed my desire to have sound… "Mr. Customer Service"'s answer basically was…”so what’s the big deal if you don’t have sound?” Kind of like the book…”War War What is it Good For?” Ultimately, we decided to go to PC Richard to buy a new camera with movie and sound.
The store wasn’t really crowded…kind of strange for the holiday season. The salesman was attentive and admitted when he didn’t know something. However the checkout took a year and a day… it was like buying a car. Well, now we have 2 cameras and for now everybody is happy.. Who knows how long it would have taken us to discover this had my wife not decided to pull an Allen Funt while we reminisced about one of my fave places?
So even though I yearn for the old pre techno days… I confess that I regularly edit audio and video files, upload them to my hosting site and play them back on audio video players that I embed on websites using html. Uh, doesn’t everybody else do this? As an experiment I thought about doing a podcast. If you check out Dangerspouse’s blog,(http://dangerspouse.diaryland.com/050903_52.html)
you will see a story about an alleged contest we held to see if anybody knew his name. I was reminded of this story last month when I read his posting to my first entry “The Grand Premiere”. Did such a contest really happen? Is this crazy story true? You will have to click the play button below to find out.
By the way, in order to do a legit “Podcast” I will be creating an RSS link Then the readers of this fine fine blog can get a free subscription to the broadcasts which is then automatically downloaded into your mp3 player. This may be the wave of the future for radio commentary, but I’ll sure miss the good ol’ days of radio commentators like Paul Harvey. Excuse me while I upload him into my ipod and listen to it while I shun the x-box 360 and play with my still working Sega baseball game from the mid 1990s… It’s the Mets against the Yankees and Rey Ordonez always outplays Derek Jeter!
Paul Harvey News and Comment… sponsored by Prune-ola - the prune granola bar for those of us in our mid 80’s who need a little extra help. Prune-ola… you’ll crap in a snap!
Monday, November 28, 2005
And to think it started with such promise. Sort of. We watched Regis count down on ABC as a fill in for Dick Clark while Ryan Seacrest brought in the New Year on Fox. This year they’re flipping networks as Seacrest is cohosting with Dick Clark. However, Clark apparently has not made a public appearance since his stroke late last year, and here’s hoping that the stroke was not so bad to keep him off this New Years Eve!
The TV schedule changes on a regular basis and most shows don’t last more than a few years. Yet soap operas go on forever. Last Friday marked the 40th anniversary of Days of Our Lives, a show my mother never ever missed as part of the trifecta that included The Doctors and Another World. The inscription on her stone actually has the phrase “enriched our lives”… I chickened out of my original idea to use the term enriched all the “days of our lives“. Anyway, the show ran a flashback episode on Friday showing old grainy highlights from past episodes. I decided to watch it just for the heck of it, but I really don’t know who the characters are although some of the actors look familiar from when I was a kid…(Was that Bill and Susan Seaforth Hayes stranded in a car during a storm? Maybe they‘ll find a young slave boy named Annakin and take him with them to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma Horton‘s house). Oddly enough many friends I grew up with have also celebrated 40th birthdays this year, yet now those friends are older than me. It’s amazing how much younger you can be when you fib about your age.
Amazingly as the year ends I only added 2 shows to my must see list, and one of them stunk and is long gone. It also marked the end of TV Guide as a local magazine, which is absolutely tragic when it comes to my weekly reading and TV planning habits.
I didn’t jump on The Family Guy bandwagon till this past summer and now I simply cannot miss it between its airing on Fox, Cartoon Network and TBS. The show is just brilliant and right now I think it’s funnier than The Simpsons, but I doubt it will run as long. Nonetheless the irrelevant flashbacks and obscure cross references to stuff from my youth tend to be absolutely hysterical.
The other new show ran for maybe 12 episodes - Committed. The show was awful but featured main characters named Marnie and Nate. How can you go wrong with that? It did. The supporting cast was pretty good though, especially Darius McCrary who played Nate’s co-worker. Back in the 90s he played the older brother on “Family Matters” and now years later, I’m sure he was sticking pins in his Steve Urkel voodoo doll with comments such as “Hey shmuck, which one of us is working NOW? What happened to your great career, you scene-stealing spotlight-hogging Urkel?”.
For Part 1 I will offer some thoughts about the programming on the only 2 cable networks I regularly watch…. except for the lousy movies on Starz and Encore (since we’re too cheap to pay for HBO), and the Law and Order reruns. I also watch sports on ESPN, MSG, YES and Fox Sports. But I watch for the event, not for the network. I don’t think we get Outdoor Network which shows the NHL, although don’t you find it strange that hockey would be on an Outdoor Network?
GSN - I only watch it for 2 shows - Match Game (of course), and Password (Plus or Super). The rest of the channel is just not my thing although I see on TVGameShows.net that they will add an hour of MG reruns at 11pm and call it “That 70s hour”. (Oh no, Match Game vs. The Family Guy? Houston, we have a problem!) Maybe the Peter Marshall Hollywood Squares can be added to that equation too? On a related note, the same site says CBS is thinking of adding a new show called “Game Show Marathon” where celebrities play one of the many game shows in the Fremantle collection (which I believes includes the Goodson-Todman library). The same show runs in England.
CNN - The only news network that I watch; except occasionally Rita Cosby on MSNBC and once in a blue moon Geraldo on Fox. I’m surprised I don’t watch Hannity and Colmes since I used to be a big fan of Alan Colmes when he was on NY radio. As for CNN, there were 2 landmark events for me; the end of Aaron Brown (who I thought would replace Peter Jennings on ABC) and the revelation that Daryn Kagan who I used to think was very pretty is actually the girlfriend of Rush Limbaugh! I first heard about this in 2005 even though the story actually broke in The Washington Post’s Reliable Source column over Labor Day weekend 2004, but I was busy getting married that weekend, so thankfully I was spared the gory details. I’ve read that CNN had thought about giving her a higher profile gig on the network, but were concerned about the fallout. Can you imagine…What is Daryn thinking? Isn’t this absolutely horrible? I just can’t look at her anymore since she’s been with that Bush loving right wing painkiller popper.
And then, I find it amazing how Aaron Brown’s CNN career started off so well and he was such a rising star while Anderson Cooper was off hosting The Mole! Then, Anderson (whose mom is Gloria Vanderbilt) suddenly became a big star at CNN; and after his Katrina coverage basically bounced Brown out.
And you gotta feel for Brian Williams. He waited and waited for Tom Brokaw to retire and finally assumed the mantle as “EVENING NEWS ANCHORMAN’ joining the big shots Dan and Peter. Well, Dan retired and Peter died, and you know what? Neither network seems to be too concerned with replacing them. Apparently having the big name do the news at 6:30 ain’t such a big deal in the general scheme of things after all….
To be continued… and stay tuned for my comments on Star Wars II
Thursday, November 24, 2005
A. A small medium at large.
And now something deep for the Thanksgiving (and Delgado arrival) celebration…
Who… other than a psychic would know on New Year’s Day what we will be thankful for on Thanksgiving?
The end of 2005 is approaching now that we are hearing all this talk about the Time Magazine Person of the Year. Personally, I would give it to Terry Schiavo. Her husband’s decision to pull her feeding tube gave the crazy right wingers a new bandwagon to jump on as they exploited Terry’s parents feud with the husband and turned this personal family matter into a national debate. Fox News, CNN and MSNBC waited with baited breath for her imminent death. And as the reporters posted at the hospice with the traveling circus listened to their earpieces with baited breath for Vatican updates, they knew fell well that the Pope’s death would knock them off the front burner and into well deserved obscurity. Only a psychic would know that Natalee Holloway would later disappear and give us a summer of pre hurricane nightly news updates courtesy of the Gretas and Geraldos.
Anyway, I like reading the annual list of great quotes…. Here are two favorites about today’s Thanksgiving topic .. psychics.
“Have you seen the new show The Ghost Whisperer on CBS? Last week, Nipsey Russell contacted the psychic and told her to call the LA Times to cancel his subscription.
“I went to a movie with Nostradamus, and as we walked out I said..”boy what an ending”. And he looked at me and said… “What, you didn’t see that coming?”
Psychics fascinate me. My lovely wife and I went to the City the other night and as were eating we saw all the aspiring actors waiting on us. Where do aspiring psychics go? Did you know that John Edward used to work in a hospital? It makes you wonder if he went to the Emergency Room on his lunch break and cherry picked the patients so the doctors would know who to treat. “Hey the kid with the broken leg.. Don’t bother, he’ll get a blood clot and die tom’w, but the 80 year old guy with the chest pains… he’s got another 10 years”. Or maybe he went to the morgue and heard dead people there…can you imagine.. ”hey mister, can you readjust me; the coroner left my shmeckle leaning to the left, but I prefer it leaning to the right”.
What other jobs do they get? I always wanted to open a restaurant and hire psychic waiters. The customers come in, sit down, and voila their food is waiting for them without even having to order. Or, maybe the condo complex could hire psychic lifeguards, “hey lifeguard.. little Jimmy is stuck in the deep end”.. “Don’t worry ma’am, even though he’s turning blue, he’ll be perfectly fine”.
How about a psychic rabbi? I would like to visit a synagogue that has a psychic rabbi who has a fixation with “Meatballs”… Can you imagine him on Yom Kippur standing with a repenter during the Al Chait prayer (where you smack your heart, trying to be inscribed into the Book of Life) telling the congregant “Uh…. Don’t bother.. You can pray all you want.. But it just doesn’t matter, it just doesn’t matter… IT JUST DOESN’T MATTER…”
I think I’m gonna rent Meatballs this wknd along with Attack of the Clones.
Monday, November 21, 2005
“What the high school quarterback said 2 minutes after he left the prom with six cheerleaders”
Well, I have finally done it! I have seen the first Star Wars movie. These futuristic visions of George Lucas are quite remarkable, but what’s even more impressive are the real time goodies that are coming out in 2005 America! I just finished reading today’s Parade Magazine and this Adam Baer article “Now, Hear This” is very very fascinating. He writes an article about pod casting which is exactly what I want to do with this blog. I already use a hosting site for my videos, and if I can html code the links right here on blogspot, then I can add audio and even video commentary. I’m not too hip with all the technical stuff, but this article says you can just download the “podcasts” right into your ipod. Hmmmm.
We go from the race to the ipods to a movie about pod races. I wasn’t quite sure how to approach watching the Star Wars movie. I thought of maybe watching them in reverse order kind of like “Memento” or the Seinfeld episode where they go to India. Then, I thought about watching them in the order they came out like everyone else did. However, I ultimately decided to get a fresh perspective by watching them in chronological order. So while I don’t have the “back story” that everybody else has been talking about, I can at least approach this project with a sense of innocence about what is going to happen.
I was hoping to watch the movies with someone who had also had never seen them before. I was looking to hook up with an Amish guy but it would be too distracting…(Hey, puppy breeder, why do you people always name your kids Jebediah, and churn butter?). I thought about inviting a chosid but that would also be distracting (Why do some of your Rabbi’s prohibit you from visiting the public library;? And why does your newspaper of record Hamodiah (except for the Satmars who refuse to read it because it‘s not in Yiddish) refuse to print photographs of women because men might see them dressed immodestly? Not even Rosa Parks? Mother Teresa? Congresswoman Jean Schmidt and her star spangled shirt?)
So I popped the movie into the dvd player and I was not too impressed with the beginning of the movie. At first, Liam Neeson’s character reminded me a little bit of his role in the most recent Batman movie which by the way was directed by Christopher Nolan, who also directed the aforementioned “Memento“. I started to think that he might be typecast in that type of role, but now I see he is doing a new movie about Abraham Lincoln which is very coincidental since I saw the movie on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address. (Can you imagine if Mrs. Lincoln had a blog about theater reviews? “For the most part, the play was pretty good, however….”)
So Neeson and Ewan McGregor are playing Jedi Knights who are basically futuristic Jack Bauers. This movie came out before “24” but I could see the similarities especially in the end when there were four battles going on simultaneously. I was almost waiting for the screen to split into 4, but it never happened. These Jedi’s have to save the day for a planet ruled by a Queen played by Natalie Portman. But, for security reasons they have a decoy queen…”I’m the real queen; no I’m the real queen”… Gosh it sounded like the dress rehearsals when Rosie O’Donnell joined Harvey Fierstein in “Fiddler on the Roof”.
So these 2 guys hook up with this character named Jar Jar Binks which I now find out is actually a computer creation! I thought it was an actor… or more specifically an actress. He walks like a tall woman with turtlehead! I remember people complaining about this character, but I actually liked him. He is from this underwater secret society where he has been flatly rejected by everybody; yet he hooks up with our 2 Jedi amigos in an attempt to save this poor Queen. Well they evacuate the Queen and lo and behold their ship breaks down. I guess they didn’t have AAA there, because they get stuck on another planet.
Well wouldn’t you know there is a ship parts store that has a young boy genius working there as a slave! And his name is Skywalker. Now I know theres a Luke Skywalker in the later movies so I think that there must be some connection here! The 2 Jedi and the Queen befriend the little pisher who turns out to be a genius who can build all kinds of stuff. (Get a good trademark lawyer Skywalker…. Microsoft might steal some of those ideas!) He also creates C3PO who he leaves behind when he is freed from slavery for winning a pod race (not the kind of pod referred to earlier). The pod race is actually pretty cool; sort of like a futuristic air vehicle.
So little Skywalker joins the gang and now that the ship is fixed it’s off to save the Queen’s planet. They team up with the displaced Binks who have been tossed out of their underwater homes. Now they have to fight light saber wielding men and futuristic machines and during the 4 simultaneous battles, Jar Jar and the rest of the Binks have to fight these creatures that look like the shoe trees my dad used to use in the 70’s. Ultimately the good guys win out and ol’ Jar Jar is accepted by his Binks. They have a big parade at the end…. (which was spoofed on “The Family Guy”, but back then it went way over my head”)
As for my review, and remember you people all saw 4-6 before you saw 1; it was a pretty good movie, except I find it hard to believe that the world was saved because little Skywalker accidentally launched a pod (which he was told to sit in by the Jedis so he’d be out of the way during a battle at the Queen‘s palace) and bombed the power source for all the machines that were effectively on the cusp of winning the war.
I used to do radio movie reviews in the early 90s (with Danger Spouse…see the comments after The Grand Premiere or check out his brilliant and often quoted blog at dangerspouse.diaryland.com) and I will grade them now as I did then. On a scale of 1 to 4 bladders meaning how less likely I would be to leave in the middle to go to the bathroom… Star Wars 1 gets 2 and a half bladders. It would have gotten more with all the special effects, but there was too much suspension of disbelief that a little kid could save the world the way he did.
I’ll be back Wednesday with some thoughts about Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Well let me tell you, from my perspective it was a perfectly normal year. At the time, I was going into 7th grade and dreading a longer school day which meant I couldn’t get home in time for my daily game show fix. I always made it a point to get home in time to see Match Game ‘77. In my mind, I thought everyone was doing this. But then again, maybe I was wrong. At the time, I was hearing that Match Game would be introducing “The Star Wheel” a gimmick that would give a player the chance to double his money, but the twist was you couldn’t take the easy way by picking Richard Dawson who had a Nostradamus-like (or maybe Kreskinesque?) knack for always getting the right answer.
Now the star wheel was coming and my 12 year old brain was starting to worry! Would Goodson Todman Productions come out fiscally ahead by doubling the prize winnings? How would the odds work of getting a double vs. just picking Richard? Too bad Marilyn vos Savant didn’t have her Parade column back then. And how would this affect the budget for the show? With my elementary school math education I started to draw charts and graphs to try to figure out the odds. And my parents weren’t really too cooperative. Whenever I went to them for some help on this one.. it was the same ol’ “Shouldn’t you be practicing for your bar mitzvah?”
Speaking of 1977 last wknd, my lovely wife was in her friend‘s wedding party. Would you believe that both the bride and groom were born in….. 1977? Boy it makes me feel old that my wife has friends who are that young! Then I started to wonder….did these young whippersnappers ever see Star Wars? During the rehearsal dinner, I was chatting it up with some of the bridesmaids, who were also born in 1977, and based on my informal poll, ALL of them had seen the original movie, and thought I was some kind of pointdexter for never having seen any of them. (I actually had figured the odds differently which might explain why I was never a financial analyst for Goodson-Todman)
I’m so old, I was born the night Hogan’s Heroes premiered on CBS. I think it was on in the delivery room as I arrived here. My earliest memories go very far back. As I recall there was a man in white saying “It’s a boy” while on the background TV I heard a German accented voice bellowing “Hooooooooogan” The show starred the late Bob Crane as Hogan and had a character named Newkirk played by…. Richard Dawson. If you saw the movie Auto Focus, you found out a lot of inside scoop about the goings on behind the scenes and the crazy shenanigans that got Bob Crane in deep trouble and eventually led to his murder. It also didn’t seem like Richard and Bob were the best of friends.
Now years later, its interesting to note that both Bob’s son and Richard’s son have had a bizarre feud of their own. When Auto Focus came out they were blasting each other on their respective websites. Richard‘s son Mark has a bulletin board on yahoo groups where he claims to be a friend of the late John Carpenter. What makes that even stranger is that Mark Dawson served as a consultant for Auto Focus… yet the movie strongly implies that Carpenter killed Crane by smacking him with a tripod,. (Carpenter was acquitted at his trial and later died.)
Personally, I’m not too happy about the idea that the younger Dawson rips into Scotty Crane. Granted Crane has a very odd website that pays tribute to his father in some very unusual ways. But doesn’t Mark Dawson have anything better to do with his time than rip into Bob Crane‘s poor son? I mean Bob Crane was brutally murdered, while Mark’s dad went on to have a lucrative career as a game show panelist and host, and he achieved movie immortality by playing the cruel game show host Damon Killian in The Running Man in one of the most amazing acting performances I have ever seen…By the way, in their review of that movie, Newsweek said Damon Killian was the best movie villain since………….Darth Vader!
Ok… time to pop in the dvd….. Did you know beta tape technology was first introduced in 1977?
Thursday, November 10, 2005
OH NO… NATE HAS A BLOG!!
Ok…. It was just going to be a matter of time.. But the question is…. What is the topic gonna be?? Hmmmm… I have decided that I am going to launch a blog about something people would least expect me to write about….
I could write about the importance of raising children to respect their uncles, aunts and cousins, but since my wife and I are both only children, our future (6 or 7?) children wont have any. I could also address the growing issue of is “The Family Guy” funnier than “Seinfeld”? But for now I am going to leave that one alone.
I also want my blog to utilize photo and video with html links. Right now my piece of garbage digital camera is not working correctly,…. The drivers don’t seem to work on either of my computers so I cant add any new photos for now…. (Nessim actually has the same camera now, so maybe he might have some ideas how to make the thing work.) Obviously this will be a work in progress, so bear with me for now as I try to figure out how to make it enjoyable…
Ready for the topic??
Huh? Nate hates science fiction! Yup, unless it involves time travel I am just so not into s.f. And… I have never seen a single Star Wars movie… that is up to now. I am launching this new adventure…. to watch each movie in chronological order, which should offer a unique perspective since I know squat about any of the SW movies.. I know about r2d2 Luke Skywalker and that’s about it… And although I tend to finish what I started…. I just might not have the patience to sit through all six movies! Then, the blog might evolve into something else,… like Family Guy vs. Seinfeld; or The Mets, or any other particular thing that captures my fancy. And… feel free to respond with any comments you may have. But for now I will write a blog about something I have never had any interest in… Star Wars.
May the force be with me!