Well the first episode of FOLLOWING THE FOLLOWERS was well received, so I thought it was worthwhile to kick out episode #… TWO!!!!
This new segment basically will select four or five followers of this blog (thanks to all of you who are now following this blog) and/or blogs I follow and just promote particularly interesting things I find on their pages:
Okay onto the promoting :):
Derrick Ferguson who is a fantastic pulp writer, a podcasting guru (I gave praise to his podcast BETTER IN THE DARK last time, you can subscribe to it here), as well as a great supporter of this blog, runs his own fun blog that covers flicks old and new. And even when I don’t share his enjoyment for certain movies (Ang Lee’s HULK,CLASH OF THE TITANS remake :)) his reviews are informed and fun reads. Great reviews on current flicks such as JOHN CARTER and classic flicks such as BUCK AND THE PREACHER. Take a gander here.
Jill of All Trades who writes the blog EXPERT OF NONE, has a really great blog post, that I think is applicable to a growing number of people in this economy. Namely, adults returning to school to advance their career or change their career path.
In my Dad’s day you got hired onto a job, and you stayed in it, till you retired with a pension and the thanks of a grateful company, or you dropped dead… whichever came first. But times have changed, corporate America has for the most part done away with the concept of pensions and indeed long term employees.
It’s a far more mercenary market today, where employers feel adversarial to employees and often to their customer base. So in this market, an employee has to expect to spend more time in job transition scenarios.
So Jill of All Trades really sums it up in one incredibly informative post. Her post was just what I needed to come across. Excellent job Jill of All Trades! And to those of you out there, like me, thinking of getting in some more education, whether for credit or just for life experience… swing by and check out her post here.
Brad runs the popular blog JIVIN ME TURKEY and on his site he picks out a movie and a quote from it, to highlight. Always fun stuff, the Mark Twain quote being a personal favorite. Swing by here and give a gander.
And last but certainly not least for this installment, Lesley and her husband run the hugely popular travel and adventure website BUCKET LIST PUBLICATIONS. One look at her site will either make you want to run out and jump out of perfectly good planes or seek medical attention. I’m leaning toward the latter. But in all seriousness it’s a great site for the travel and adventure minded!!
Just finished a post on the most intriguing DVD/Bluray releases for the First Quarter of 2012 for Mainstream US releases. Now here is the more exciting list, including DVD/Bluray reissues, foreign, and Obscure!
Lot’s of really intriguing entries to hunt down. Among them several Jean Rollin films released on Bluray, several never previously released Jim Brown Films are available on DVD, Alfred Hitchcock films on Blu-ray and much more.
Take a look!
North by Northwest (50th Anniversary Edition in Blu-ray Book Packaging)
The Iron Rose [Blu-ray]
The Nude Vampire [Blu-ray]
Lips of Blood [Blu-ray]
Dark Of The Sun (Remastered)
Take a Hard Ride
Slaughter/Slaughter’s Big Ripoff
The Man From London
Sinners And Saints
Fernando Di Leo Crime Collection (Caliber 9 / The Italian Connection / The Boss / Rulers of the City) [Blu-ray]
More specifics on certain titles later.
Most Intriguing DVD Releases First Quarter of 2012!
As of this writing, 3+ months into the 2000 and 12th year of the coming of a Lord, there has been 212 movies released on DVD.
212 Movies released on DVD.
That’s a lot of movies. And a lot of bad movies with just a cursory look. Some intriguing ones (60+, so more than a quarter of the films, less than a third) that with a cursory look, pop out to me are:
A few of these flicks I know I’m going to buy, the majority I’m at least interested in viewing.
If you’re like me and still occasionally stop into video rental stores, or get videos from your library, you’ll find yourself, without fail, trying to decide what you want to watch. So this handy post hopefully will take some of the guesswork out of that for both you and myself.
Arvid Nelson is a strong writer, I really like his work, and leave it to him to flesh out one of Robert Howards more underwritten, stereotyped characters. Plus fantastic covers!
It’s one of the books I would recommend picking up the slims (individual issues) over the graphic novel if you can find them. If not grab the graphic novel here: Robert E. Howard Presents Thulsa Doom SC!
Holy Hanna my frigging back is killing me!
Is there a chiropractor in the house? A buxom masseuse?
This is what comes of my Shaolin Temple training methods. Damn David Caradine and his Kung Fu TV show!! .
Well enough about that, onto some crazy (crazier?) blogging. I came up with this new segment that basically will select four or five followers of this blog (thanks to all of you who are now following this blog) and/or blogs I follow and just promote particularly interesting things I find on their pages:
Okay onto the promoting :):
THE SHADOW: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program, 1930 – 1954
Martin Grams Jr, the writer of the indispensable THE SHADOW:THE HISTORY AND MYSTERY OF THE RADIO PROGRAM:1930-1954 has an intriguing post on Studios cutting corners when it comes to presenting box sets of classic television programs, specifically why some episodes may be missing or music changed, from the show you remember, once it reaches DVD.
He Writes: “When Season Two of HAWAII FIVE-O came out, fans were shocked to learn that the episode, “Bored, She Hung Herself,” was not included. Taking a second look at the cover art, the box states “The Second Season” —- not “The Complete Second Season.” In this particular episode, a person was found hung to death and it appeared they performed a stunt of Yoga so complicated, they they strangled themselves to death. In real life, a man who did Yoga wondered if that position would indeed strangle the breath out of himself. He tried it, he died, and the family sued. During the settlement, producer Leonard Freeman agreed not to re-air the episode in re-runs. And it seems CBS preferred not to include it that episode in the Second Season box set.”
Well that’s pretty wild. I had never heard that story before. And while I definitely feel for the family, I seriously don’t see how you can hold the studio responsible, for what strikes me as, again with all possible respect, an act of incomprehensible stupidity.
It’s like me watching Looney Tunes, and deciding to drop a safe on my head to see if it will make me flat. :). I think my family would have sense enough to know I had gone insane, and the fault lies with me and not a TV show :), It’s ludicrous.
Anyhow, I’m not even a HAWAII FIVE-O fan, and now I have to see that stupid episode. Read the full very intriguing article here .
Stella is one of my newer followers, and I do eventually make time to check out web links if you include them when you sign up. I followed Stella’s link and saw a poem she wrote called ‘You Might Kill Me” . The poem, her structure is very reminiscent of the poetry of Pablo Neruda as translated by Clayton Eshleman. Mixing elegantly our hopes with our despairs, our beauties with our horrors.
“I can tell by your eyes
you’ve seen the vacant buildings’
It’s quite a stunning poem. You should go read it. And I hope she does more poems.
One of the earliest followers I have is Wayland Productions, the crew who runs the audio series http://www.zombiepodcast.com. No doubt my coverage of all things audio drama, be it podcasts or old time radio put me on their radar. That said I’m not a fan of ghoul/flesh eating horror, what the west has misnamed zombie horror. Just no interest in the fetishizing of cannibalism and barbarism. I’m just not interested. That said, a lot of people are.
I’m a grumpy old fogie, and my weak stomach aside you have to give the talented cast and crew huge respect for their consistency. They’ve been putting out episodes since 2009. add to that they have one of the best designed websites out there. So give the site a gander and if ‘ghoul type’ horror is your thing, then give a listen here. I always support creativity… particularly in audio productions, and you don’t get any more creative than these guys and gals!
Author and Monarch of Mayhem crowned writer Derrick Ferguson’s BETTER IN THE DARK is a podcast I’ve praised before, so I’m going to do it again and urge you to take a listen to their latest episode here.
Thanks for looking and come back next time for more,,, FOLLOWING THE FOLLOWERS! .
TODAY’S BEST COMIC BOOK AND TPB COVERS
THUNDER AGENTS 2. Hearing nothing but good things about Nick Spencer’s work on this series.
T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents Vol. 1
BLACK PANTHER 527. Great Francavilla cover highlights this issue. I’m going to pick up the trades.
Saw some pages of this horror story that takes place during the era of Napolean. Looks promising.
X-MEN 23- Too many X-MEN books, translates into me being uninterested in reading any of them. That said, that’s a great cover.
AVENGERS ACADEMY 24- Simialy too many avengers books, means I have no interest in reading any of them. That’s the problem with MARVEL/DISNEY comics, they saturate the market, choking their own products/brand to death. It’s like a garden with too many plants, too close together, fighting for soil and light… they all end up dying. That said, another great cover.
VESCELL 5- That’s a great cover. Unfortunately the interior sample pages were just a bunch of talking heads, gabbing on about nothing. Too bad, the cover showed promise.
VAMPIRELLA VS. DRACULA- Great cover.
BLUE ESTATE TPB VOL II- That is a phenomenal cover. Unfortunately the interior art that I saw doesn’t look anything like that, and the writing was pretty darn pedestrian/boring. You can decide for yourself.
FATALE 2- Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips have for the last few years been making some of the best comics available, and one of the few you really should be buying monthly rather than waiting for the collected edition. Though you can’t go wrong with their CRIMINAL DELUXE EDITION. Their take on pulp noir is always highly recommended.
“Dreams are a 60th part prophesy…
Learn to read the signs.”
And with those words TVs most elegant, and eloquent parable rose, briefly but brightly, on our screens.
Mixing equal parts religious allegory, alternate history, future tinged fantasy and cautionary tale, Creator/Writer Michael Green and Director Francis Lawrence’s KINGS was something decidedly new and fresh and vibrant and exciting and challenging and smart and of course… being all these things, NBC pulled the plug on it in less than a season, in favor of yet more carbon copy cop dramas.
It is the shame of mass media that tv is littered with stale, boring, uninspired, and ultimately lowest common denominator CSIs and LAW & ORDERS and AMERICAN IDOLS that get renewed year after predictable year, and truly brilliant and revolutionary television, has to fight tooth and nail to make it to a complete season. It’s a shame that Networks are filled with decision makers who continually make the uninspired decision.
The purpose of a pilot, should be to allow the network to be invested enough to grant a show at least an entire season, breathing room to develop and fulfill the promise of that pilot. Unfortunately more often than not, such as with KINGS, the network vultures and ax men begin circling nearly immediately, and the show has to be rushed into episodes and avenues it wasn’t planning for in order to try to assuage networks.
A ploy that seldom works, and didn’t in this situation. In KINGS case the show goes from brilliant with its first 6 episodes (counting the pilot) to floundering, and into a clunky and forced feeling death dive with its 7th episode SABBATH QUEEN, and stays in that rushed uneven keel, till its alternately bombastic and very forced conclusion.
The strength of the first 6 episodes is that lyric writing, and the slow but strong arcs of the characters, which becomes completely erratic, and again forced, with the need to wrap up the story in less than a season.
But the failings of the network in hounding this show to an unsatisfying and unfortunate demise aside, this series is very much worth following and owning for the promise and brilliance of the pilot and the five episodes that follow it.
Because up till then it’s a great example of television as art, with great actors (Eamonn Walker, of BLOOD & BONE and MOSES JONES fame, is one of my favorite actors, anything he is in he brings a weight and gravitas to it, that you can’t see anyone else doing his role as well as him. And KINGS is filled with such brilliant actors), powerhouse performances, lyric, ambitious scripts, feature film sets and scope, great cinematography and location filming, and arguably the most effective and yet understated use of CGI on television, using it seamlessly and invisibly to help create the world and the wonders of KINGS.
And another real strength of the series for me is in its ethnic diversity and casting of strong striking characters who don’t all look like escapees from Dawson’s Creek or Smallville or Whitebread USA.
I’m really put off by shows that have no characters of color or characters of color in token or dismissive/denigrating roles. KINGS is the rare series that is filled with diversity, but that’s not the point of the show, the show is a fantastic riveting, larger than life fable, that just so happens to have astonishing actors of color, portraying people rather than stereotypes, and that’s what I love to see.
And I think part of the issue is NBC didn’t want a show that was ethnically diverse, as all the limited marketing they did… tried to make this look like DALLAS or 90210, something boring and 20something (compare the pics at the top and bottom of this post. The former is what they should have used to publicize this series, and I found only through much hunting, the latter is what they chose to use. If you’re anything like me you find the latter picture extremely uninteresting). NBC had gold, and marketed it like tin.
So KINGS gets the nod as one of the ten best pilots of all time. And its aborted 2009 season, failings and all, stands out as better television than all the inane CSIs combined. Stands out as television, worth your time. And add a commentary and the DVD Boxset gets a grade of B+.
A must own series.