Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Batman is Minding His Business

Happens all the time to the Caped Crusader!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: A Friend Indeed--The Bill Sackter Story

When researching movies for potential Tuesday's Overlooked subjects, I was trying to find the TV-movie Bill, starring Mickey Rooney as real-life man Bill Sackter, a mentally challenged individual who became a hero in the fight for rights of those with disabilitites. Footage for that film is scarce, but I did come across this fine documentary about Sackter, A Friend Indeed--The Bill Sackter Story.

This 2009 doc spans the entire life of Sackter, who, after taking an intelligence test at age 7, was deemed mentally retarded and taken from his widowed mother and sisters and placed in an institution, never to see his family again. Later as an adult, he was placed in a halfway house and worked odd jobs, which led him into a freindship with filmmaker Barry Morrow. Morrow became a close friend of Bill's and eventually became his guardian, giving Bill a new lease on life. His story became widespread and even earned him recognition from President Jimmy Carter in 1979. His story was dramatized in the Rooney TV-film, which garnered Emmys and Golden Globes.

The documentary gives the viewer the opportunity to know the real Sackter, making his story even more poignant and moving. At a time which seems to become more cynical by the day, A Friend Indeed--The Bill Sackter Story is a fine way to remind yourself that good things do happen, even if they happen later than deserved.

Here is the film in its entirety. Enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, January 25th, 2013

TGIF, as they say! Once again I have some fun stuff to peruse on the 'Net, so fire away when ready!

If you're in the mood to relax this Friday morning, enjoy the sounds of grocery store music from 1975!

If the NRA had their way, there would be no need for Batman. See for yourself!

One of my favorite comic book artists these days is Skottie Young. Check out his awesome take on Disney superhero Darkwing Duck!

If you're looking for a music act for your next social event, and you live in the 1980s, you may want to avoid these unique acts!

Finally, here's what Hulk fans such as myself have been looking for--a comprehensive list of all the causes of David Banner's Hulk-outs from the TV series.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Star Wars Children's Book and Record from 1977

Today I offer an item I loved as a child--a book and record of the first Star Wars film. The book contained the same text read by the narrator and actors on the record, along with photos from the movie. The actors on the record were clearly not those of the film. Although the record was 33 1/3 RPM, the record's size was that of a traditional 45.

This was made by Buena Vista Records, Disney's audio records division; even from the beginning, Disney and Star Wars had a relationship. Disney also made book and record combinations of Tron and Raiders of the Lost Ark that I enjoyed. The Star Wars book is long gone, but I believe the record still exists at my parent's house to this day, albeit with a large crack in it (the record that is, not the house).


Monday, January 21, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked TV: Bizarre

As you'll see, I've changed the name of the feature from Tuesday's Forgotten to Tuesday's Overlooked, which is the true name of the multi-blog meme. I've changed it to that it's more uniform with the other blogs that participate. This week's feature is the early 80s sketch comedy series Bizarre.

Bizarre starred comedian John Byner and a steady cast of underlings and was similar in vein to Saturday Night Live or SCTV, if not as good as those series at their best. Also, whereas those series were more ensemble based, Bizarre was clearly a vehicle for Byner. An uncensored version of the series aired on the Showtime cable network, while a censored version aired on CTV in Canada, (where the show was produced) and in broadcast syndication here in the US (which is where I saw it as a kid, on WPHL-TV Channel 17).

The show was certainly not high art; it was crude, crass, and rude, but had its funny moments. Although the series isn't exactly considered a classic, it did spawn a greater spin-off success. The series gave birth to the character "Super" Dave Osbourne, a spoof of daredevils such as Evel Knievel. The character's appearances became so popular that a spin-off series was created for the USA cable network and even a kids cartoon series for the Fox network.

Here is Byner in one of his recurring Bizarre roles, "pet evangelist" Dr. Enzlo Veal. Thanks!

Friday, January 18, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, January 18, 2013

It's not just any Friday, but the Friday before a nice three-day weekend! If you have Monday off (or even if you don't), enjoy it. Until then, here are a few fun links to while away the time.

Remember that time Mr. Rogers visited the set of the Incredible Hulk TV show? I did in a previous post back in 2008, but Christopher Mills takes a recent look at the hallowed event this week.

Longtime readers know that I'm one of the biggest lovers of McDonald's food you'll find, but even I don't touch the McRib sandwich. Here are several good reasons why.

My kids are starting to explore the Star Wars universe in earnest for the first time this year, and in introducing them to it, I've had a renewed interest as well. Here's a useful list if you want to get into the Star Wars universe as presented in the many books written about it.

What is this, some kind of ancient archaeological discovery? Nope--it's my family's first ever VCR from 1981!

Finally, a sober link, but one that is worth reading in keeping with the theme of the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tuesday's Forgotten TV: Doctor Doctor

This week's Tuesday's Forgotten TV is the short-lived sitcom Doctor Doctor.

Doctor Doctor starred Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) as Mike Stratford MD, a general practitioner with several partners, among which he is the unconventional "wacky" member who goes to great lengths to help his patients, even if it means giving his services for free. Although his patients benefit under his care, his style wrecks havoc with both his fellow partners and his on-again, off-again girlfriend, the host of a local morning news program on which Mike does occasional appearances.

Although the show had a fairly large supporting cast, it was clearly a vehicle for Frewer's often manic brand of comedy. The show wasn't afraid to touch on serious subject matter, however, especially later in the program's run. Doctor Doctor debuted on CBS as a summer series in June of 1989 and was picked up for the fall schedule that same year, ending its run in the spring of 1991--not a bad run for a fairly low-rated program!

Here is the pilot episode. Enjoy!

Friday, January 11, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, January 11, 2013

The first list o' links of the year. I hope you think it's a good one!

This is a great site for those with an interest in forgotten or obscure rock from the late 60s and early 70s, The Rising Storm. It gives reviews of albums that fit in that category and lets you know of upcoming reissues. They also have video and a podcast. Highly recommended!

In the spirit of my article on Jaws movie posters, here is a list of 12 completely awesome movie posters featuring sharks

Finally, here's a deep question to begin your weekend: does quantum physics make it easier to believe in God?

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tuesday's Forgotten TV: Gun

The first post of the new year is also the first Tuesday's Forgotten post of the year, and this week, my selection is the Robert Altman-produced anthology TV series Gun.

Gun was a six-week-long series that followed the trail of a single golden gun as it passed along from user to user, telling a different story each week with different characters. A pre-Sopranos James Gandolfini appears in the opening episode. Subsequent episodes feature Sally Kellerman, Randy Quaid, and Martin Sheen, among others. Directors of the episodes include Altman himself, Ted Demme, and Peter Horton.

The episode I feature below stars Daniel Stern as an unsuccessful actor who gives up his dream of stardom in Hollywood and decides to take his family back east to start over. He doesn't get far, however, as he becomes a near foil in a convenience store robbery involving the titular weapon. Seemingly a hero in the altercation, he becomes a media celebrity who isn't shy of cashing in on his newfound fame to jumpstart his acting career, if at a personal cost.

***SPOILER*** There's also a twist ending, which will be familiar to those who have read Ambrose Bierce.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

By this time, the Thanksgiving turkey is long digested, the busy shopping season is blessedly behind us, Santa has made his yuletide ride, and we've rang out the old and rang in the new. The 2012 Holiday Season is officially closed.

While we pack away the holly and mistletoe and the red and green decorations, the biggest mistake we can make is to pack away the spirit of the holidays. "Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men" is a belief we must practice year round, or it has no meaning. If you're like me, and you hate to put Christmas behind you--don't.  Be of good cheer, eat, drink and be merry, and care for your fellow man (especially when it's not returned) today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. When we all successfully do that, every year will truly be a happy new year.

And with that I say, one last time this season--Happy Thanksgiving. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year.