Thursday, May 29, 2014

May's Underappreciated Music: The Coasters

This month's Underappreciated Music is a collection of songs from one of my favorite vocal groups of the '50s, the Coasters.

The Coasters' catalog is comprised mostly of novelty songs--you don't hear much in the way of love songs from the group--but they were a prominent part of the emerging R&B/rock 'n' roll scene of the decade. Unfortunately, you don't hear their music on mainstream radio anymore, now that traditional oldies music stations have morphed into "classic hits" stations that have abandoned the '50s completely.

Radio may have forgotten them, but I certainly haven't! Hear are some of their most enjoyable songs. Thanks!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Saturday Matinee: Captain America Movie Serial, Part 6

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable time during the unofficial start of summer. For me, it doesn't feel like summer until the official start of summer, but that's a story for another time. Above all else, please take the time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our country this weekend.

Here is this week's Saturday Matinee, chapter 6 of Republic Pictures 1944 serial, Captain America! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked: The 2013-2014 Television Season

The 2013-2014 TV season is just about wrapped up, and I enjoyed what I watched this year quite a bit. For Tuesday's Overlooked, I'll give a quick rundown of what I liked this year.

For a man about to turn 40 this year, I watch a lot of cartoons. I am in no way ashamed of this, especially when the shows are some of the most well-crafted and entertaining programs on television, animated or live action. Two cases in point: Adventure Time and Regular Show, both on Cartoon Network. Both series offer the biggest laughs around. With Adventure Time, you also get a whole universe of creatures and a surprisingly tragic backstory. Regular Show, on the other hand, is all about fun. It may be lowbrow, but it's highbrow lowbrow. Yes, I'm making that a thing.

Also on Cartoon Network, two new series have also caught my eye. Steven Universe, created by a storyboard artist and writer of Adventure Time, offers similarly wonderous characters in a quaint seaside town and has similar whimsy and charm to Adventure Time. Clarence is a new series that debuted just a month ago, but has the potential to be a regular viewing staple in my household. Finally on Cartoon Network is DC Entertainment's Teen Titans GO!, which has the ability to make me laugh out loud to the point of looking ridiculous. It's the best product coming out of DC right now, be it comic book, TV series, or movie.

Marvel is certainly no slouch in the TV entertainment department. It's three Sunday morning offerings, Ultimate Spider-Man, Avengers Assemble, and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., bring thrills and laughs to me and my children, and are a great way to introduce kids to these characters. As for live action, I am a big fan of the unfairly maligned Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I could write an entire post about my thoughts on the series--and time permitting, I just might--but for now, suffice it to say that this series is exactly what I expected and has left me thoroughly entertained. And what a great way to tie into Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

A pleasant surprise was the Fox series Sleepy Hollow. It's over the top to be sure, but it embraces its preposterousness with glee, and I can't help but respect that. Great performances from its cast help sell the silliness. Another show worth mentioning is the randy sitcom Mike & Molly, the only series my wife and I enjoy equally, although we both enjoy the police drama Blue Bloods to varying degrees (she more so than I this past season). Finally, I can't neglect two Sunday night powerhouses, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead.

Yes, the 2013-2014 television season was a very satisfying one for me. What about you? Please let me know in the comments section. Thanks!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Saturday Matinee: Captain America Movie Serial, Part 5

Welcome to another wonderful weekend! As we've been doing for a month now, we kick it off with another installment of the Captain America movie serial. Enjoy!


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: The Phantom Tollbooth

For this week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film, I'm going back to a movie I featured several years ago before I was involved with the Overlooked meme--the live action/animation hybrid The Phantom Tollbooth.

Based on the classic young readers novel by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, The Phantom Tollbooth stars Butch Patrick (Eddie from The Munsters) as Milo, a boy who is completely bored by the world around him. Nothing gives him a reason to be interested in or care about anything. Lo and behold, a magical tollbooth appears in his bedroom that transports him to an animated wonderland, where he encounters a watchdog (complete with a clock in his belly), a prickly Humbug (think C3P0 or Doctor Smith from Lost in Space), a boy who grows down instead of up, and many other bizarre characters. Along the way, he learns to care and appreciate the world around him.

The animation was designed and supervised by the legendary Chuck Jones, and his style is clearly evident throughout the animated sequences. I only saw the movie once as a child, but I fell in love with it immediately. Just a couple of years ago, I decided to read the book for the first time and enjoyed that as well. Unfortunately, author Juster didn't care for the film and preferred the book be adapted into a completely live action film.

I'll let you judge for yourself whether the existing film is up to snuff. Here it is in its entirety. My previous post from 2009 has a dead link to the film, so I'm happy to showcase a better link here. Enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Saturday Matinee: Captain America Movie Serial, Part 4

Hello everyone! It's a bit early, being Friday morning as I write this, but here is this weekend's installment of Captain America, the 1944 movie serial from Republic Pictures!

But first, some kinda sorta related news. The TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which ties in closely with the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier, has been renewed for a second season. Yay! Also, a second Marvel live action series, Marvel's Agent Carter, has been picked up to series. The show revolves around agent Peggy Carter, an ally of Cap's from World War II who was a prominent character in the first Captain America film. Actress Hayley Atwell reprises her film role as Carter for the series. I'm really looking forward to both these shows!

And now, back to the serial. Enjoy!

And as always, don't forget to grab some refreshments at the snack bar!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Happy Mexican Star Wars Day!

Today is Cinco de Mayo, but I still want to celebrate Star Wars Day. Here's a way to celebrate both at the same time. Happy Mexican Star Wars Day!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday Matinee: Captain America Movie Serial, Part 3

It's Saturday, but not just any Saturday--today is Free Comic Book Day! I hope you have a great one! Get out there and get some comics!

After that, settle in right here for part 3 of the Republic serial Captain America!

Plus, here's some other great serials playing in the theater of your mind!