Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Free Comic Book Day This Saturday, May 3rd, 2014!

Comic book fans rejoice! It's that time of year again--Free Comic Book Day 2014 is almost here! This Saturday, May 3rd, comic book shops around the country are offering select titles to new and returning customers for free! This is a great opportunity to discover the glorious medium of comics--or perhaps rediscover them if you haven't checked them out in a long time.

For a participating retailer near you, go to the official Free Comic Book Day Web site, enter your zip code, and you're on your way to free comic books! There are about 60 titles being offered this year from a variety of publishers, from the famous companies like DC and Marvel to smaller independent publishers. There are comics for kids, adults, and everyone in between, in a full palette of genres. There's something for everyone! Check the official site for a full list of titles. Note that not all titles will be available at every retailier.

You should also be aware that, although the comics are free to customers, they are NOT free to the retailers; they still buy the books from the publishers. Do your local comic shop a favor and buy some of their regular products to show your support and appreciation.

Here is a video sampling of what Free Comic Book Day is all about, along with shows of support from two familiar faces!


Friday, April 25, 2014

Saturday Matinee: Captain America Movie Serial, Part 2

It's the weekend, so here is our next installment in the latest Saturday Matinee! Picking up where we left off last week--which is how these serial things work--here is Part 2 of Captain America by Republic Pictures. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

April's Underappreciated Music: Deon Jackson, "Love Makes the World Go Round"

It's the last Thursday of the month, so that means it's time for April's Underappreciated Music. This month, I offer the one hit wonder "Love Makes the World Go Round" by soul singer Deon Jackson.

This is a song I've always loved since adolescence, when I really got into oldies music. It's one that didn't get played quite as often as other oldies classics, so whenever it did get airplay, I considered it a treat. Earlier this week, I was looking for some goods tunes I hadn't heard in a long time on YouTube and this popped into my mind. When I saw curator Todd Mason post this month's selections, I thought this would be a perfect addition to them.

Sadly, and in a strange coincidence, in my research for this post I saw that Jackson passed away just last Friday at the age of 68. "Love Makes The World Go Round" was Jackson's only Top 40 hit.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: 52 Pick-Up

This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film is the 1986 film 52 Pick-Up.

The film, an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel and directed by John Frankenheimer, stars Roy Scheider as businessman Harry Mitchell, whose wife (Ann-Margaret) is running for local office in Los Angeles. Harry is blackmailed by crooks threatening to reveal evidence of his extramarital affair, but he refuses to pay. The crooks then murder his mistress and threaten Harry for even more money. Harry counters with a down payment of $52,000, but he has a plan up his sleeve to take the blackmailers down.

I'm sure the original novel tells the tale better than the film, but it's still entirely enjoyable and watchable. I'm a fan of Scheider's, so it's fun for me to see him in a film that doesn't star a giant mechanical shark.

Here is the film's trailer. Thanks!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Saturday Matinee: Captain America Movie Serial, Part 1

Hello one and all! I hope everyone who celebrates has a Happy and Blessed Easter weekend. I'm taking the opportunity to "resurrect" (see what I did there?) an old feature of the blog. Please welcome the return of the Saturday Matinee!

For those who don't remember, I used to feature a classic movie serial chapter every weekend. Previous subjects have included Batman and The Crimson Ghost. This time, I'm hopping on the red, white, and blue bandwagon of the new movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier by featuring the Captain America serial produced by Republic Pictures in 1944!

Unfortunately, this version of the character bears little resemblance to the Cap we know and love. This Cap is not scrawny patriot turned super soldier Steve Rogers, but ordinary powered district attorney Grant Gardner (Dick Purcell), tracking down the not-so super villain the Scarab, a museum curator who is on the hunt for two dangerous items, "The Electronic Firebolt" and the, ahem, "Dynamic Vibrator" *snicker*. This Cap has also traded in his iconic shield for--a gun. How un-Cap like! Finally, the war doesn't feature in the plot at all; this is simply a straight-ahead crime caper with the hero and villain just happening to wear funny outfits.

Here is part 1 of Republic Pictures' Captain America. Enjoy!

Don't forget to grab some snacks at the snack bar!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Actor: Allen Garfield

For this week's Tuesday's Overlooked, I decided to go in a different direction. Instead of focusing on a specific movie or TV series, I'm looking at an actor. This week, it's character actor Allen Garfield.

Born Allen Goorwitz (he used his real name in credits for a few years), Garfield usually plays officious jerks and comic foils (usually both at the same time). He studied acting at the Actors Studio under Lee Strasburg and Elia Kazan and has appeared in films such as The Conversation, Mother, Jugs, and Speed, The Candidate, and Nashville. He's also appeared in no less than three previous Tuesday's Overlooked Films on this blog: Teachers, Get Crazy, and Continental Divide. In the latter two, he is cast against type as more agreeable, jovial characters. Garfield unfortunately suffered a stroke in the 2000s and hasn't acted since.

In researching this post, I came across a fine retrospective of Garfield's career, which you can read here.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked: John Pinette, 1964-2014

For this week's Tuesday's Overlooked, I look at comedian John Pinette, who died this weekend at the age of 50.

I've mentioned Pinette on the blog several times before, as he was one of my favorite comedians the past few years. He didn't perform biting social commentary like George Carlin, or do political satire like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert, or anything high concept. His comedy was mostly about himself and his obvious weight issues. I enjoyed and admired his work simply because it made me laugh out loud every time. Anyone who can do that to me on a regular basis leaves an impact on me.

I had the pleasure of seeing Pinette perform in person back in 2011, and it was a night I still think about and laugh about today. Now I'm saddened to know that I won't get another opportunity to do so. Pinette had his problems to be sure; besides his weight, he spent time in rehab last year for painkiller addiction. Still, when thinking about him, all that comes to mind is his ability to make me laugh until I cried.

Here are some clips that showcase his humor. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Thanks!