Thursday, May 31, 2012

Happy 50th Birthday Hulk!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the release of Incredible Hulk #1, the very first appearance of the Jade Giant (even though he was gray in the issue). As a huge Hulk fan, I can't let the occasion go by without acknowledgment. Here, without further comment, are little tidbits in tribute to him.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten Film: The Wanderers

Hello everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the long holiday weekend. It's back to the regular grind; let's ease into things with this week's Tuesday's Forgotten Film. This week, it's the 1979 urban melodrama The Wanderers.

The movie, based on the 1974 novel by Richard Price and directed by Philip Kaufman, is set in 1963 New York City and focuses on the ethnic teenage gangs that attend a Bronx high school. The titular Wanderers is an Italian gang led by Richie (Ken Wahl), who simultaneously bears the burden of the Wanderers feud with an African-American gang, the defection of one of his members to another rival gang, and his girlfriend's pregnancy. Meanwhile, Richie's friend Joey (John Friedrich) deals with his abusive father while beginning a close friendship with a new arrival to the neighborhood. Things come to a head at a school football game when a common threat challenges friends and enemies alike.

Although I earlier described the film as a melodrama, which it is, the film also has more than a good share of funny and tender moments as well. All of this is set against the backdrop of the times with a fantastic soundtrack comprised of some great early rock 'n' roll tunes. This is one of the first "grown-up" films I've ever seen, and it's held a place in my memory ever since.

Here is your chance to enjoy the film as I do. Here is the trailer, followed by the film in its entirety. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten Film: Head

The Monkees have been mentioned many times here at the blog, including Tuesday's Forgotten, but that's to be expected when I'm such a huge fan. For Tuesday's Forgotten Film this week, I'm happy to present the band's lone theatrical film Head.

There is no real plot to the film, just the theme of the boys fighting to break out of their "pre-fab" image to showcase their true selves and artistic interests through myriad adventures and light psychedelia (which they would also do the following year on their TV special). It's certainly a far cry from the TV series, which of course is the point.

Here is the film in all its glory. Enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

List O' Links for 5/18/2012

If it's Friday, it must be time for my weekly List O' Links. We're extra comic book heavy this week, so I apologize if you don't partake of the funny pages.

If you're as huge a fan of Animaniacs as I am, you can never learn too much about them, but all the same, here is Way More Than You Ever Wanted to Know about Animaniacs!

It's always been a misconception that Archie Comics were these wholesome products suitable for the chaste American family. No way! The Archie gang was the horniest bunch of delinquents you can imagine!

Here is a lengthy yet fascinating article on the rise and fall--and possible rise again?--of the Commodore computer company.  This particularly hit home with me, as the Commodore 64 was the first computer I ever owned.

Finally, there's no better way to end the work week and kick off the weekend than with Supergirl cosplayers.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

American Bandstand's 30th Anniversary Special, Part 2

Here is the remainder of the American Bandstand 30th Anniversary Special that aired on ABC back in 1982. I find it ironic that I'm celebrating the 30th anniversary of a TV special commemorating a 30th anniversary.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten TV: American Bandstand's 30th Anniversary Special, Part 1

I'm very late on noting the passing of Dick Clark, one of the most famous entrepreneurs of broadcasting of all time. As a broadcasting geek, he's always been an icon that I've been fascinated by and of whom I wanted to know more. Years ago I purchased a copy of his 1976 biography Rock, Roll, and Remember, now out of print, which I started (twice) but have yet to finish. Upon his death, I loaned from my public library the 1997 book American Bandstand: Dick Clark and the Making of a Rock 'N' Roll Empire by John A. Jackson. I'm in the middle of the book now and hope to write a review for the blog once I'm finished.

It's easy for me to have an affinity for American Bandstand for several reasons. One, I love oldies and the first decade of rock 'n' roll. Two, I grew up in South Philadelphia, ground zero for American Bandstand and the era's biggest music stars and producers.

If you enjoy the era and the music as much as I do, please enjoy this, a primetime, 3-hour special that aired in 1982 commemorating the show's 30th anniversary. It's not practical to post all 3 hours in one article, so I'll split it up. Consider this part 1. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

List O' Links for 5/11/2012

Before you begin your weekend festivities, take a look at the Internet offerings I have for you this week!

This author writes a good overview of the career of Michael Nesmith both pre- and post-Monkees. I considered featuring Nesmith's Elephant Parts as a Tuesday's Forgotten TV selection, but this author does just as good a job as I could have done describing it, so here 'tis.

This New York Times article explains the bitter dispute between the co-CEOs of Archie Comics for control of the company. Unfortunate, especially since the comics have been experiencing a creative hot streak the last couple of years.

Scottish artist Paul Cadden is such an amazing artist, his work looks like actual photographs rather than drawings!

Finally, what do you get when you cross late comedian Dick Shawn, two Second City alums, and Rowlf the Dog of the Muppets? This.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten TV-Movie: Nick Fury, Agent of SHIELD

When you hear the name Nick Fury these days, you think of this guy:

But before the Marvel Comics character became a household name thanks to Samuel L. Jackson, Fury was portrayed by this guy:

It's Fury as portrayed by The Hoff™ that I present to you today as this week's Tuesday's Forgotten TV-Movie. After which, I'll need to see The Avengers to wash Hasselhoff as Fury out of my brain.

I've been featuring some pretty B-movie-ish fare the last few weeks, I must admit. I promise I'll get back to more sophisticated programming next week :)

Thanks! BTW, I hope you can read credits backwards, as this version of the film is mirrored. Have fun!

Friday, May 4, 2012

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! Marvel Action Universe: The Return of Captain America

I doubt this will be a surprise to you, but the long-awaited Avengers movie opens today, and to celebrate I present a much older uniting of Earth's Mightiest Heroes to hit the screen--the small screen, anyway.

Here is a presentation of Captain America's union with the Avengers as depicted by the Marvel Action Pack of cartoons that aired on ABC TV in the 1960s. The animation is notoriously limited, but it's fun nonetheless.

As a bonus, I also present the introduction of Hawkeye into the series as well as a Hulk feature. Enjoy! Go see the movie!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday's Forgotten TV-Movie: Exo Man

The selection for this Tuesday's Forgotten TV-Movie was inspired by the following fan-made video, a trailer for a fictitious movie featuring the Marvel Comics superteam The Avengers--if it were made in 1978.

The footage for the Iron Man sequences is taken from this week's selection, the TV-movie Exo Man.

Exo Man stars David Ackroyd as a university professor named Nicholas Conrad, who is the victim of an attempted hit on his life by the mafia. Conrad survives but loses the use of his legs. Conrad then utilizes his scientific genius to create a suit of special armor--an "exo" suit--to enable him to not only walk, but burst through walls and deflect bullets unharmed.

He's basically Iron Man without the flying.

The TV-movie aired on June 18, 1977 (I couldn't find the network, unfortunately) and was intended to be a pilot for a weekly series, but it never materialized. This was a time superheroes were becoming big on TV, with the debut of The Incredible Hulk later that year, The Amazing Spider-Man shortly thereafter, and Wonder Woman already airing. Exo Man is clearly inspired by the Iron Man concept, and I wonder if there was an attempt to get the rights to the actual character that wasn't successful. Regardless, an Exo Man series wasn't to be, and the film now remains a staple in the market of bootlegged DVDs available on Ebay and at comic cons.

And also, right here at the blog for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! For more overlooked video and film, enter Todd Mason's blog Sweet Freedom. Thanks!