Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Gremloids aka Hyperspace

This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the 1984 Star Wars spoof Gremloids.

Gremloids, released as Hyperspace in the US, is about a Darth Vader-like villain, lovingly named Lord Buckethead, who erroneously traces rebel transmissions to the planet Earth. Upon visiting the planet, he decides to take over. It's up to a ragtag band of misfit characters, played by comedians such as Paula Poundstone and Chris Elliot, to take down Buckethead.

Beating Spaceballs to the punch by a full two years, Gremloids went nowhere at the box office but is a cult favorite today. And you have to love the poster image above, complete with the sexy damsel, overbearing villain, and--are those jawas with laser guns? Awesome!

Here is the film in its entirety. Enjoy!

Friday, February 22, 2013

List O' Links for Friday February 22, 2013

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks to last weekend being extra long for most, the new weekend is here already. Here are this week's links to while away the hours.

Here's an amusing story from way back in 1981 talking about a brand new idea about to sweep the nation--reading a newspaper on a computer screen. Can you imagine such a thing?

The world really is coming to an end. You know why? Papal succession, that's why!

Finally, the Oscars are this Sunday, but if you're not happy with this year's nominees, check out the winners of all the Oscar events from the 1980s.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Animaniacs, "Hello Nice Warners"

Today I stumbled across one of my favorite installments of Animaniacs, "Hello Nice Warners," featuring one of several run-ins the Warner brothers (and the Warner sister) had with the character Mr. Director, who just happened to be a Jerry Lewis stand-in. Freunlevin!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Wizards

This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film may not be overlooked by most animation fans, but it's brand new to me--it's Ralph Bakshi's 1977 fantasy Wizards.

I learned of this film's existence thanks to the pop culture blog The Retroist, which today celebrated the announcement of an impending soundtrack release. I've known of Bakshi of course, first by hearing of this more adult-oriented animated films such as Fritz The Cat, then learning of his involvement, much to my surprise, with the classic '60s cartoon TV series Spider-Man and The Mighty Heroes, two of my favorites.

Wizards is the story, set in a dystopian future Earth (is there any other kind of future Earth?) about two elderly wizard brothers, one good, one evil, who are at war with each other. Along the way, there are fairies, elves, a half-ostrich-half-camel, and trippy animation so far out it makes Nelvana's 70s output look like 60s Hanna-Barbera.

According to an interview quoted in Wikipedia, Bakshi made this film to be one of his more "family oriented" films. In Bakshi's mind, this is family oriented:

Joel Schumacher would be proud.

Thanks to the blessing that is YouTube, I can see this film for the first time in its entirety, and so can you. Enjoy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

List O'Links for Friday, February 15, 2013

Sorry for the lack of fresh articles folks, but boy have I been busy! To make up for it, here are some awesome links to people who have made better efforts than I to entertain their readership.

Valentine's Day may have been yesterday, but with a holiday weekend ahead, you may want to keep the romantic mood going. Here is a fun article about the power of the Peanuts special Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.

Say I love you to your sweetheart the right way--the Indiana Jones way!

Sesame Street is most revered for the wonderful Muppet performers, but it's also had some great animation throughout its 40+ span. Here is the story behind the first animation ever created for the groundbreaking children's series.

Power Records was a budget children's record label that put out great story records featuring beloved superheroes. Here, Batman and Robin face--the Man-Bat!

Finally, with his own forthcoming movie announced by Disney, here are 22 important things you should know about Yoda. Not thinks you may want to know, things you SHOULD know!

Have a great (hopefully long) weekend!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Atari 2600 Video Game TV Commercials

I recently paid a visit to a local vintage toy store, The House of Fun in Oaklyn, New Jersey, with my 6-year-old son. The store had a huge assortment of toys from the 70s and 80s, from Star Wars to Masters of the Universe to you name it. One small section had a collection of used video games; among them, games for my first video game system, the Atari 2600.

Chances are the Atari 2600 was the first game system anyone whose a member of Generation X owned. It was affordable and had a nearly endless supply of games. Of course, the graphics are Neanderthal compared to the X-Boxes and Playstations of today, but back then, the Atari 2600 was totally rad. See just how rad in the following commercials!

Have you played Atari today?

Even in the earliest days of video games, they were addictive!

Even celebrities got into the act. Pete Rose, Don Knotts, and Pele to name a few.

Jack Black!

Did I mention that a lot of games and accessories were made for the 2600?

I have an Atari 2600 in my attic. I think it's time to blow the dust off of it and give it a try!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Late Night Blogging From My Smartphone

I'm blogging from my mobile phone, just because I can.

And here's a picture of my dog Candy sitting on our loveseat, just because.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Saturday night.

Friday, February 1, 2013

List O' Links for Friday, February 1, 2013

Just like that, the first month of the new year is over already, and we begin the shortest month of the year. We'll be singing "Auld Lang Syne" all over again before you know it. At least I have some fun links to pass the time until we get there.

Here are the 50 most essential science fiction novels according to this guy.

Chris Sims went to the Waffle House last weekend, and this is what he saw.

The Video Game Critic is a great site of extensive video game reviews. Not only do they review the latest and greatest games, they also review classic games--even for the Atari 2600!

If you're a fan of classic oldies music of the 50s and 60s like I am, there's a fine radio station in northern New Jersey  that plays a great selection that you almost never find on terrestrial radio anymore--WMTR 1250 AM.

Finally, a personal link for me--here is a recording of my beautiful daughter Megan singing "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Miserables. I love you, Meg! Best of luck in your dance competition tomorrow!

Have a great weekend!