Saturday, April 30, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - Z is for Zapped!

Saturday Night at the Movies! 4/30/11

Who cares what picture we see?

I do, dammit, and it's my birthday! So this is the flick for tonight!

Well, there used to be a trailer for Zapped here, as there always is for a Saturday Night at the Movies post - but it went away, and no one has uploaded a new one. But I'm not taking this post down - no sir! I'll wait. Someone will upload the trailer sometime. You wait and see. Or don't wait and see - go on and check out the rest of the post....

Ah ha! I knew someone would upload a trailer again. Now, admittedly it has been shot off a television - but at least we have a trailer back in the post! Huzzah!

Not the best quality trailer - but the only one I could find.

Not the best quality trailer - but the only one I could find. (This applies again)

A trailer and a poster usually finishes us up for a Saturday Night at the Movies! post, but this is both my birthday and the end of the April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge, so I'm not stopping here - this is truly one of my favorite movies ever - I think you would have had to be a 15 year old lad in 1982 to understand - so I'm throwing some more stuff in. Let's see...what else about Zapped!?

Well, obviously one of the major appeals of the movie for me is Heather Thomas - although she's quite the snooty stinker in the flick - she's also a vision in mostly pink - definitely eye candy of the first order...see what I mean?

By the way - I'll probably give this movie a proper LGOOH review at some point - it's why I had all this stuff ready to go - so that review might look a mite familiar when it posts - but I'll wait a while. Let's see, what else?

Oh, the soundtrack to Zapped! is also one of my absolute favorites - it is a ten song trip through 80's Cheesy Pop Music Land, and I love it! (I still own the soundtrack album - yes, record. As in 33 1/3.)  Here's three of the songs as YouTube video clips - two are static picture videos with the music, the third is a sweet fan video of Scott Baio and Felice Schachter's interactions in the movie edited together and set to one of the love songs. If you haven't seen the movie there are a couple of spoilers here as the footage is from all points in the movie but it's Zapped!, so go ahead and check these out!

King and Queen of Hearts - David Pomeranz

Ready or Not - Plain Jane

Got to Believe in Magic - David Pomeranz
You've been numbed by all the drum machines and 80's lyrical poetry haven't you? Yeah, me too...*sigh* Well, here's the last one - promise - it's The Keane Brothers with their tune Just Tryin to Kill a Saturday Night otherwise known as the opening theme to Zapped!
Well there you go - I figure one of three things have happened - either this brought back fond memories, made you want to see Zapped! or made you happy The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge is over.
Whichever it was, I had a blast taking this challenge on - I want to thank the hosts, all the participants, everyone who dropped by, commented, and/or started following this blog as a result, and special thanks to my pal Joe who pointed me to this challenge in the first place!
And as always, til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - Y is for You!

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge has reached the penultimate post - this and one and we're done. (Hopefully just with the challenge, and not with each other - I have some great new pals thanks to this challenge!)

Today, in order to prepare the proper sendoff for tomorrow, I'm relinquishing command. And there's only one choice to take over, since it can now be revealed...

Y is for You!

Yes, this is going to be YOUR post - I need YOU to help me out with this one! I'm going to post five pop culture questions. They can be answered in a few words - or they can be the launching point for a new 30,000 word essay - as Tommy Lee Jones told Harrison Ford: "I don't care!" - just please copy the questions into the comments and answer them for me.

The more answers that appear, the better this post will be. So please take a couple of minutes and comment this one!

Here are the questions:

1.) Name a Guilty Pleasure movie you love that no one else does.

2.) Name a TV show cancelled too early, or cancelled too late.

3.) Name a song that makes you turn it up, or one that makes you turn it off.

4.) Name a book everyone should read.

5.) What is the weirdest Pop Culture moment you ever saw?

And now it's all up to YOU! Til tomorrow and the finale, YOU Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - X is for Xuxa!

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge is nearing its end - but what a treasure trove of people, information, and fun!

Tonight is another trip into:

The Video Vault of Mora Tau! 4/28/11

And did I say treasure? Yes! And you know what always designates where the treasure is...of course! X marks the spot! And in this spot...

X is for Xuxa!

The Brazilian children's show host Xuxa (pronounced SHOO-Sha) has been a mainstay in her country for 25+ years, and proved so popular in the late 80's/early 90's she was brought to America for a run in English, which is where I first encountered her. And once you've seen Xuxa - you're not likely to forget her.

She's blonde, and sunny, and energetic, and well... dang it, sexy. Look for yourself - here's a clip from her American show:

I just don't see the Wiggles or even the Fresh Beat Band pulling that outfit off! Here she is in a clip from something in her native language - as always, she's bouncy and vivacious, the kids are cute,  the puppet dog is funny - but she's decked out in something that is only an orange dye job away from a Hooters girl outfit...so of course I love this!

She's even made it to the Big Screen - and the results look to be just as calm and sedate as her TV show...although slightly less risque - until the group Rouge turns up near the end of the clip, that is...

Xuxa has toned down a bit in the 21st century - but she's still an incredibly attractive woman even if she's not dressing like a Disney Princess by way of Frederick's of Hollywood any more.
Xuxa - 2011 style
Thank you Xuxa - for being the kids' show host kids and their dads can enjoy together!

And til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - W is for Weng Weng!

We're in the homestretch of The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge now! I can see the end just a few letters away...but tonight we're still deep in it - and after a couple of nights ago, it's time to double down on the U...yes that's right! Double U! And then we're going to double it again - because tonight the spotlight falls on a small package of big talent....yep...

W is for Weng Weng!

I was first introduced to the magic that is Weng Weng when I spotted the title For Y'ur Height Only on Netflix - hmmmm, a play on a Bond title, and somebody in it is either very tall, or very short. But, why not have Buddha Man take over at this point?

For Y'ur Height Only (1981) Firstly, that typo is courtesy of the filmmakers, not me. Secondly, it's neat to still be logging firsts in my movie watching after so many years. This was my first martial arts/James Bond knockoff starring a little person! Filipino star Weng Weng is the tiny actor in question, listed in info on the DVD as 2'9'' (?!) He may be short, but he's not short on talent! Well, actually he is. But you gotta give the guy credit as he jumps right into the action as secret agent 00, the best man for the job when Filipino bad guys do...well, villainous things. There was definitely no plot to get in the way of the story here, which basically had the bad guy sending his minions to kill Our Hero, but instead getting their comeuppance most usually through kicks and punches to their crotch, the body part closest to 00's reach. He also has a great trick where he comes sliding on the floor from around a corner, shooting his tiny little pistol at the bad guy lurking there. The movie seems to be pretty clever, spending the first several minutes just letting the audience marvel at what they are seeing as 00 mops up on a few bad guys. Just when the novelty of the little guy kicking tushie is wearing off, he's called into his boss's office to be given a classic dubbed briefing and a pile of gadgets to use. So now we get to watch 00 continue his mission with a poison detecting ring, little machine gun sized for him, and a remote control Oddjob hat (!) Finally, this too starts to get a little old, and they filmmakers play their final trump card: they send 00 back into the office where his boss gives him this adorable little jet pack! Oh my golly, the sight of this tiny little man on pretty much totally visible cables "flying" about 7 feet off the ground with a little flame and smoke coming out of only one of the jet pods on his back had me cackling all over the couch right through the end of the movie.

The best part of this whole blog thing: getting to show this stuff.
All in all, this one has a lot going for it, including love scenes, gun battles, fist fights, surveillance and sneaking around, all of which is made that much more exciting because the guy doing it is knee high! There's also a climactic little person martial arts free for all, frequently hilarious dubbing, a musical score that will remind you of a certain British spy's theme song without waking up the musical copyright lawyers; and the moment you had to know would be in there: the moment when 00 does something so dangerous the filmmakers have him doubled by a big doll. Now that is cinema! Check this one out!

That will wrap us up for this post! Always remember...it is better to look good, than to feel good. And you...look...MARVELOUS...!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - V is for Vipers!

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge might bring us to a Victory lap, or a View to a Kill or even a Vision of 70's Sci-Fi Heaven, and I'm thinking that last one sounds right, for 'tis true that...

V is for Vipers!

(Colonial Vipers, that is!)

Battlestar Galactica  (Universal, 1978)

Yes, it's true - top billing went to Sensurround.

Before the Camera:

Richard Hatch  (Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen)
Dirk Benedict  (Ruckus)
Lorne Greene  (Earthquake)
Jane Seymour  (Live and Let Die)
Terry Carter  (Foxy Brown)
Herbert Jefferson Jr.  (Detroit 9000)
Maren Jensen  (Deadly Blessing)
John Colicos  (No Contest)
Laurette Spang  (Airport 1975)
Tony Swartz  (The Archer: Fugitive from the Empire)
Rick Springfield  (Hard to Hold)
Noah Hathaway  (Troll - where he played Harry Potter, Jr.!)
Ed Begley Jr.  (Get Crazy)
Randi Oakes  (TV's CHIPs)
David Greenan  (Silent Madness)
Sarah Rush  (The Nude Bomb)

Guest Stars
Lew Ayres  (Calling Dr. Kildare)
Wilfrid Hyde-White  (My Fair Lady)
Special Guest Star
Ray Milland  (The Thing with Two Heads)
as Sire Uri

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Richard A. Colla

Produced by John Dykstra, Winrich Kolbe, Glen A. Larson, and Leslie Stevens

Written by Glen A. Larson

When Star Wars became a huge hit on theater screens for 20th Century Fox in 1977, television execs at all three networks began to shake their fists and bellow "Get me some of that science fiction crap! It's selling like hotcakes!" Successful writer/producer Glen A. Larson grabbed up his decade old unsold sci-fi property Adam's Ark and began giving it an update polish. Shortly after, with a revised and modernised (up to the late 70's anyway) pitch, he got Universal Studios and ABC to bite. They had a couple of stipulations - one of them that the word "star" had to be in the title somewhere. Larson thought for a bit, and soon after Battlestar Galactica was born. Costing the then unheard of price of $7 million, they shot a 3 hour pilot episode and ABC cleared an entire Sunday night of programming to launch this epic series. And launch it did - to very respectable ratings - despite an interruption of over an hour by President Jimmy Carter and his overseeing of that trifling signing of the Israel/Egypt peace accord by Israeli president Menachem Begin and Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat. There's a whole other blog post waiting to be written about this series - but we have other fish to fry in this one.
    Because they'd spent so much money on the pilot, and it looked so damned good, the studio execs started thinking the same thought they usually did about this time - let's cut the pilot down to feature length and release it as a feature film! Usually they did this overseas, but this time they went whole hog and planned a theatrical jaunt for this flick all over the world, including the United States of America! And in addition to planning a domestic run, Universal used the film's release to launch the third iteration of that jazzy theatrical sound system known as Sensurround!™ (To know more about this flick and Sensurround III,  go to this Let's Get Out of Here post from 2010.)
    The film starts off with some cool narration from actor Patrick Macnee (uncredited but providing some key voicework throughout the flick) setting up the plot - why not include it here?

"There are those who believe that life here began out there, far across the universe, with tribes of humans who may have been the forefathers of the Egyptians, or the Toltecs, or the Mayans. That they may have been the architects of the great pyramids, or the lost civilizations of Lemuria or Atlantis. Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive far far away amongst the stars."

With that, we are introduced to the Battlestar Galactica, a giant spaceship loaded with tiny snub fighters called Colonial Vipers. There are twelve such warships, each charged with defending the Twelve Colonies of Man in their epic thousand year war against the Cylon Empire. The Galactica and all of her sister Battestars have come together at a neutral spot far from their homeworlds. It seems a human named Baltar (Colicos) has somehow managed to broker a peace summit between the Twelve Colonies and the Cylons. Before the summit can get underway the Galactica's commander Adama is wary, and orders his right hand man Colonel Tigh (Carter) to keep patrols flying to keep an eye on the space around the fleet. As it turns out, the latest patrol consists of two Vipers, each piloted by one of Adama's sons - Captain Apollo (Hatch) and young Lieutenant Zac (Springfield). Their sister Athena (Jensen) is also present - a flight controller back on the bridge. Apollo and Zac find a large tanker ship lying adrift not far from the fleet, empty of fuel. Surmising that this could have been a refueling station for some kind of sneak attack, the boys break for the Galactica. And it turns out Apollo was right - the Cylons have brought the Battlestars together so they can launch a mass ambush on the fleet and a simulataneous attack on all twelve colony worlds - their aim - to wipe the human race from the stars forever! Zac's ship is damaged, and he urges Apollo to fly ahead to warn the fleet. Apollo does, and then tries to go back to rescue his little brother - but it's too late. And Zac is only the first loss of the day as the Cylon attack does indeed wipe out a large part of the Twelve Colonies, and eleven of the Battlestars, thanks to the indecision of President Adar (Ayres) and the treachery of Baltar. Only the Galactica escapes, thanks to Adama's foresight to have Vipers ready to launch as a part of a fake drill. The great ship makes it back to its home planet of Caprica, where Adama and Apollo find death and devastation. But there are survivors, and Adama comes up with a plan: using every spacefaring vessel they can get their hands on, the Battlestar Galactica will lead these survivors out across the stars - on a quest to find the fabled lost Thirteenth Colony - a shining planet known as Earth.
    Eventually 220 various space vessels are found and pressed into service, and they set out on their quest, underfueled, and with poor provisions. There will be problems with the new Council of the Twelve, with members like greedy, self-serving Sire Uri (Milland) sitting at the table. Even with heroic warriors like Apollo, Starbuck (Benedict), Boomer (Jefferson), Jolly (Swartz) and Greenbean (Begley), they'll need the Lords of Kobol to look after them so they can stay one step ahead of the Cylon fleet as they try to find food and fuel to get them safely out of the sector of space the Cylons now rule. Will this ragtag fugitive fleet be able to find that long lost sister world?

The show was so expensive to produce, actors Herbert Jefferson, Jr. and
Richard Hatch also had to be production assistants - here they're telling
Jane Seymour camera is ready.

You know, when this premiered I was just really getting going in my double digits, and I thought it was a pretty neat show. In 2003 they "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica, and I sat down with the pilot episode. When 45 minutes had passed and there hadn't been one dogfight in outer space, I turned it off - this was not "my" BSG. I never watched another episode. But the new show became a hit, and it became de rigeur to spit on the old show - it was 70's crap! Terrible hair! Bad writing! Recycled special effects! Okay, those things cannot be denied - and again, the problems this had when it went to series are big enough for their own post. This is a review of the chopped down pilot episode as it played in theaters.
    This is a good movie. It's not a great movie. It's not an Oscar winning life affirming game changing piece of cinema. But it is a good movie.
    The story is involving. The characters are interesting. The actors are at worst adequate, and some are pretty good. The effects are very cool - though they do get used over and over a lot - and on DVD there's now a "matte cloud" of differently colored blocks of space that follow some of the spaceships around - but you can always tell yourself those are the shields...
    Best of all, (and these are not things I usually mention, let alone gush over in a review) the production and costume designs are INCREDIBLE. This thing was made during a time when most clothes in the world were hideous - but my old buddy Jean-Pierre Dorleac really had an eye for some terrific outfits here - I love the Egyptian motif that runs through everything on the Galactica -  these costumes worked well then, and they still work today - over 30 years later! The ship designs and sets are also iconic - forgiving the old solid state electronics on that $1 million bridge set.

Two views of the big ship herself.

The good guys' fighters - Colonial Vipers - hence the post title!

The bad guys' ship - the Cylon Raider

The Colonial Warrior costumes - and look - there's Anne Lockhart - she's not in the movie.
This is from the series, but was the best picture I could find of these outfits.

    There are some downsides - the "little kid" factor comes into play with rescued single journalist Serena (Seymour) and her young son (Hathaway) shmoozing with Apollo and slowing the story down a couple of times - but the robot "daggit" (dog) they invent to pep up the boy's spirit is an interesting figure - a robot dog suit wrapped around a chimpanzee...The editing down from the longer pilot episode leaves a couple of choppy moments in the story too... but these are quibbles. All in all I mark this as one of my favorite things to come out of the 70's. If you want to see some of the best of the science fiction projects greenlighted thanks to Star Wars, then definitely check this flick out!

Let's Get Out of Here ?

Around 10:00 in, Richard Hatch knows it's an ambush. He then waits a while to go on a spree with The Line, clocking it again at around 1:45:20, 1:48:40, and 2:00:30.

Eye Candy ?
The three ladies in this movie epitomize 70's hot - so yes to all three!

Maren Jensen

Jane Seymour



Laurette Spang

Buddha Man's Capule Review

Buddha Man says "Battlestar Galactica can always find its
onto my movie screen."

Thank you Buddha Man! As Commander Adama says - "Fleeing from the Cylon tyranny, the last Battlestar, Galactica, leads a rag-tag fugitive fleet on a lonely quest - a shining planet, known as Earth." And til next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - U is for Untamed Movie Posters!

It's Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #14!

It's time to get crazy, you know, buck wild as only the 1950's could, daddio! After all, The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge is old enough to drink now! And booze might be in order if these three movies are triple featured together...not an unlikely proposition, since...

U is for Untamed Movie Posters!

Untamed Women  (United Artists, 1952)

Untamed Youth  (Warner Bros., 1957)

Untamed Mistress  (Howco Productions, 1956)

Here are those sidebars for easier viewing - it's always important to know what you're going to SEE!


Til next time, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - T is for Tourist Trap!

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge is no longer a teenager! Time for a trailer!

Saturday Night at the Movies! 4/23/11

Who cares what picture we see?

Chuck Connors very well might, so that means tonight...twentieth time...truly...

T is for Tourist Trap!

Like the man says...

Tricked! Terrorized! Trapped!

And I'll add: Tanya Roberts!

Yes, that means you, young lady.

This is a truly creepy little flick from 1979. I first saw it on Showtime on a Saturday night around that time, and watched it several times across the month it premiered. It's out on DVD now, and I do own it, which means it's available for watching at any given moment...like even tonight, should you care to come see me!

And til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - S is for Scre4m!

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge is flying down the tracks almost under its own power - and now we're about to make a double curve - at speed - try not to give voice to the sound creeping up your throat - we already have plenty - after all...

S is for Scre4m!

Before the Camera:

Neve Campbell  (Scream)
David Arquette  (Scream 2)
Courtney Cox  (Scream 3)
Emma Roberts  (Nancy Drew)
Hayden Panettiere  (I Love You, Beth Cooper)
Marley Shelton  (Planet Terror)
Erik Knudsen  (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World)
Alison Brie  (TV's Community)
Rory Culkin (Signs)
Marielle Jaffe  (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief)
Nico Tortorella  (TV's Make It or Break It)
Anthony Anderson  (Exit Wounds)
Adam Brody  (Jennifer's Body)
Aimee Teegarden  (TV's Friday Night Lights)
Brittany Robertson  (The Last Summer)
Mary McDonnell  (TV's Battlestar Galactica '03)
Dane Farwell  (Repossessed)
Roger Jackson  (Scream)
The Voice

And look fast for...

Anna Paquin  (X-Men)
Kristen Bell  (Pootie Tang)
Lucy Hale  (TV's Pretty Little Liars)
Shenae Grimes  (TV's 90210)

Behind the Camera:

Directed by Wes Craven

Produced by Wes Craven, Carly Feingold, Iya Labunka, Marianne Maddalena, Ron Schmidt, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, and Ehren Kruger

Written by Kevin Williamson

Fifteen years after the first Scream, and eleven since the most recent sequel, director Wes Craven reassembles the survivors of the trilogy and sends them back to where it all began. Sydney Prescott (Campbell) has written a book - Out of Darkness - to exorcise the last of her demons from being stalked by serial killers three times. The last stop on the publicity tour? Woodsboro - where the original murders took place. Good timing too - right on the 15th anniversary of the killing spree. Once there, Sydney reunites with her family - her aunt Kate (McDonnell) and her young cousin Emma (Roberts), who knows Sydney more as a media figure than a family member. Syd also finds her old friend Dewey (Arquette) is now the sheriff, and his wife Gale (Cox) - formerly tabloid TV reporter Gale Weathers - never one of Sydney's favorite people - has not adjusted well to small town life - with no new stories to write and ol' Ghostface - a murder guise adopted by different people...not the same guy turning up time after time - completely quiet for the past decade after the events in Scream 3. But their reunion is shortlived - as are some of the people in Woodsboro again - as the pasty masked psycho comes back in a big way - bumping off a fresh crop of Emma's fellow high schoolers in ways so familiar, it can mean only one thing: first was The Rules of Horror Movies; second was The Rules of Horror Sequels; third was The Rules of Horror Trilogies; and this time it's The Rules of Horror Remakes. But who among the potential victims has the killer cast in which role from the original? And can the three veterans of Ghostface's previous rampages stop him this time, or even survive themselves?

(L-R) Brie, Shelton, Brody, Campbell, Cox, Arquette, and Anderson
find the most dangerous spare tire EVER!

I really love Scream. It has lost some (Ghost) face over the years for some reason - but it is a truly smart, scary, and funny movie and boy did it hit the spot in 1996. It remains high on my list of faves; and it ties with the original A Nightmare on Elm Street as Craven's best film. It's also the high spot on Kevin Williamson's resume (my four seasons of paychecks from Dawson's Creek notwithstanding). I enjoyed the rushed-through-production Scream 2, (released a few days short of a year from the original) and it was probably as good as it could have been, considering. Scream 3 wandered a bit afield from the original, but it was certainly watchable, with a great cast, and it was an okay wrapup at the time.
Both of those sequels had script issues - the original screenplay for 2 leaked on the internet while the film was in production, prompting a rewrite - complete with change of killer; and 3 suffered because the Columbine tragedy had occurred, scaring film execs away from anything involving high schools and violence - this prompted a rewrite as well, but it was handled by Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road) when Williamson was too busy watering his own directorial debut Killing Mrs. Tingle down into Teaching Mrs. Tingle for the same reason. And actually, spying Kruger's name among the producers in the credits of this new movie gave me a moment's pause, which I'll return to in a moment. I was anticipating this film a fair amount; as I've said before, a few years off can sometimes really revitalize a film franchise. All of our returnees look great, and they slip back into their roles with ease - Campbell now grounded and Zen-like, but ready to kick ass when needed; Arquette still earnest and a little lost, but a relatively effective Sheriff when needed; and Cox pent-up and frustrated, but wonderfully bitchy when needed. The younger cast is equally good - with Panettiere standing out with her effortless charisma. Of the older newcomers, Shelton and a newly pretty trim Anderson make the most of their law enforcement supporting roles. Craven's direction is solid - not showy but well handled, both in shot composition and in pacing. The script is good, with some of Williamson's trademark clever verbal barbs and fun poked at horror films sprinkled in among some good suspense and jump scares, and some brutal kills - my wife was a bit put off by the gooshiest blood spurt sound effects she'd ever heard.
    But why was Ehren Kruger's name in there again? Well, it turns out Williamson left the production before it was finished, tired of butting heads with one of those pesky Weinsteins. And it seems there was a Kruger rewrite performed on this script, although Craven says it was just cleaning up some details and that the plot and characters are all Williamson's. Now, all of the Screams have had some script tinkering from Craven himself, mainly on the set to work out problems and make things flow more smoothly. But as far as the four films go in quality - the first is far and away the top of the list, with 2 and 4 tying for second, and 3 coming in last. And what does the first movie have that none of the others do? A script written completely by Kevin Williamson and no one else (except for anything Craven might have fiddled with during production)! In the end, this script finagling doesn't derail the movie - I just wish we could see a Scream sequel that was as much like the original writer's original idea as possible (admittedly not easy in these days of filmmaking-by-committee.)
So, I do recommend this movie to horror buffs and Scream fans, it's a gory good time for those so inclined - but if there's a Scream 5 - can we just have the one true writer, please?

Let's Get Out of Here ?
At very roughly 1:20:00, Neve Campbell has gotten her kicks with Ghostface and wants Mary McDonnell to accompany her on a journey elsewhere.

Eye Candy ?

I'm sure the young ladies are all sweethearts, but these eyes find the candy dandy when it has been around the block...

Neve Campbell! Courtney Cox! Welcome aboard ladies!

Aw, who am I kidding? Hayden Panettiere! You're in too!

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says: "Scream 4 is well worth watching,
if not a movie to Scream 4."

Thank you much, Buddha Man! And til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - R is for Random Stew!

We meet once more for the eighteenth April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge post - and we've now come to the letter that can also be a pirate's cry...and we'll use it to highlight another semi-Regular department here at LGOOH - it's the department where we take a look at some varied pop culture tidbits - Riff on them, Rhapsodize on some, Rank on others...but there's no Rhyme or Reason to the subjects...because as you might have guessed...

R is for Random Stew!

Let's see what's cooking in the big pot today...

While you're filling your bowl, I guess we should pay some bills...here's a few words from our sponsor - the computer industry...and some special guests...

Because nothing says "computing power" like 1950's Korea! And where's Radar's left hand?

And he should know - he's seen the 23rd century!

Finally, perhaps in response to that "Under $300" crack...

This might be the sight that greets me if I get to heaven.

Actually, I'm surprised Roger Moore had time for computers - he was so busy playing James Bond and writing Young Adult mystery novels...

And if you really wanted a chance to make a difference in the world after reading the books...

Hey! Marvel Comics' Thor has a movie coming out soon! I'm glad he got the film job, so he could stop hawking snack cakes...

I actually really love when superheroes try to sell me sponge cake and cream filling, but really, Thor gets a little wordy with it...he should take a page from Hawkman (plus this gives DC comics some love)

Hawkman pulled the whole thing off with two lines. 10 words. Thor says more than that when he breathes in!

Speaking of superheroes...

Say, I don't remember that outfit making William Katt look so...curvy...

Actually, we'll talk again later about The Greatest American Heroine. (Who says this isn't the LGOOH Age of Cryptic Teasers?)

Man, am I stuck in some kind of Stan Lee/Marvel Comics speech pattern this go-round, or what?

Look out! It's a Blue Meanie!

Wait, it's just a picture of a Blue Meanie.

Oh. That's all right then.

Well, let's see what's on NBC tonight...

Wait, it's not 1979?

I watched this show religiously for the whole 12 or 13 weeks it was on before low ratings caused the show to fall off the cliff. It was pretty cheesy - but in those days before home video it was a chance for me to try (in theory anyway) to make a connection to and enjoy the old time serials from the 30's and 40's, which were very difficult to see. The one place you could see them was on the PBS show Matinee at the Bijou, which aired around dinner time on Saturday nights. They showed a cartoon, a short, a newsreel, a serial chapter, and a short feature film like it would have been seen decades previously in the theater. Apparently they're gearing up for a new series and have Debbie Reynolds slated to host. Hope it goes for them!

We'll wrap this serving of Random Stew up this as we always do...with a little dessert... and what's better for dessert than...


Thank you, Ms. Marion Carr!

And til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge - Q is for Q!

We're entering the homestretch in The April 2011 A - Z Blogging Challenge now - and after yesterday's Mega Post we're going to take it down a notch today...and pay a visit to...

The Video Vault of Mora Tau! 4/20/11

After giving some love to James Bond's boss four days ago - it seems only fair to turn our eye today to the other one letter fellow traipsing around the halls of MI6 (and my apologies to Miss Moneypenny for not putting the spotlight on her - this challenge, anyway)...yes, it's really no surprise by now for me to reveal...

Q is for Q!

Ian Fleming gave James Bond a .25 automatic pistol as his standard weapon in the early 007 novels - with the primary consideration in its choice the small, concealable size of the gun more than anything else. Fleming was appreciative of weapons but not an afficionado, with most of his knowledge coming from his own intelligence experiences of World War II - now almost a decade behind him at this point.

Beretta .25 automatic
 As the books became popular Fleming started receiving fan mail. One letter came from Geoffrey Boothroyd, who enjoyed the stories but disapproved of the agent's assigned gun. As he wrote:

'Dear Mr Fleming, I wish to point out that a man in James Bond's position would never consider using a .25 Beretta. It's really a lady's gun - and not a very nice lady at that! Dare I suggest that Bond should be armed with a .38 or a nine millimetre - let's say a German Walther PPK? That's far more appropriate.'

Fleming enjoyed Boothroyd's letter immensely and wrote back - here's that letter:

    And sure enough, when he wrote Dr. No, Fleming included a scene that incorporated not only the idea of switching 007's weapon - but also a tribute to Boothroyd by including him in the scene as the MI6 armorer and 'world's greatest expert on handguns.' But that was the only time we meet Boothroyd or anyone like him in any of Fleming's novels. Q branch is mentioned several times - with Q standing for Quartermaster - the military officer responsible for supplies. And Bond does get his gadgets from Q Branch - but there is no character of Q.

Geoffrey Boothroyd (l) meets Ian Fleming (r)
     EON Productions filmed Dr. No as the first James Bond movie, and they included the Boothroyd scene, with Boothroyd's original line changed to "Nice and light...in a lady's handbag." which always gets a nice laugh. In the film Boothroyd is played by actor Peter Burton. It's a nice scene - doing a bit to establish the relationship between Bond and M - Bond defying orders and still carrying the .25, M heading 007 off sneaking out with the prohibited gun - and it gives the armorer a funny line.

Peter Burton
Dr. No (1962)
    When the second Bond film went into production, they included a gadget laden briefcase Fleming had imagined for the novel. To explain all of its functions in the novel, Bond simply thinks about them in an interior monologue - which is not very cinematic, to say the least. So they decided to have Boothroyd come back for a presentation scene in M's office. However, actor Peter Burton was not available, so director Terence Young instead rang up an actor he'd worked with before, a man named Desmond Llewelyn - and history was made. Llewelyn's performance was understated in his first go-round - but the scene and the gadget are cool.

Sean Connery and Desmond Llewelyn
From Russia with Love (1963)
It was with the next film - Goldfinger - and a change in director to Guy Hamilton - that the character of Q really gets going. He's referred to as Q for the first time, and we actually go down to Q Branch - so the filmmakers can show us some wonderful and funny gadgets being worked on before Q gets down to the business of arming 007 for his latest assignment. Initially, in rehearsals, when Bond comes in to the scene, Desmond Llewelyn rose to greet him - and director Hamilton nixed that, telling the older actor to treat Bond with disdain, as he comes and gets gadgets, shows no respect, and destroys everything. With that direction the character locked in - and became an instant scene stealer.
And hey! This is supposed to be a Video Vault post, so bring on the video!
Okay! Here's a clip from the Goldfinger scene - we miss the opening with Llewelyn snatching a grenade back from 007's wandering hands...but we do get the classic closing line...
After that, Q was a lock - as each new James Bond film brought another visit with or from the tetchy Welsh gadget master. Sometimes Bond went down to see him, sometimes he went out on location to equip 007 "in the field," never his favorite thing to do. And while he always crabbed at 007's lack of care regarding his gadgets, he cared enough to show up unannounced on Bond's unsanctioned rogue mission in Licence to Kill with a suitcase full of gagdets Bond might need to get the job done. Instead of trying to present all of the Q Branch scenes - which would amount to around an hour or so in total running time - once again I depend on the editing talents of others and present a YouTube video tribute to the late Desmond Llewelyn - which shows the actor with almost all of the Bonds he worked with - except for Lazenby - although they did have a nice scene together near the end of On Her Majesty's Secret Service - but you do get Connery, Moore, Dalton, and Brosnan, and this gives a good taste of the scenes - including that grenade snatch not present in the above clip.
As Desmond Llewlyn was getting on in years, in 1999's The World is Not Enough famed British comedian and actor John Cleese is brought in as Q's assistant, apparently being eased in to taking over the role. Sadly, that same year Desmond Llewlyn died. After his passing, Cleese indeed took over the role - and in their first Q Branch scene together - from Die Another Day - watch how Brosnan's Bond initially keeps the new gagdet guy at arm's length - then, at the end of the briefing, Bond let's the other man know he's been accepted. It's a classic moment from a Bond film - a Bond film that is a bit overlooked IMO. And for the record, I like the Aston Martin "Vanish."

 To date that is the last appearance of Q - as he has not shown up- in the form of Cleese or otherwise - in the two Daniel Craig 007 movies. Maybe he'll come back for the third next year. I certainly hope so.

Just as we did with M - we'll take a look at the "other" Q. There was no equivalent character in the original spoof Casino Royale - not worth mentioning anyway, but the rogue 007 picture Never Say Never Again did feature their own spin on the classic character: a Cockney smartalec who's also known to Bond as Algernon. Actor Alec McCowen played the role beautifully, and in fact could have taken over on the regular series if Desmond Llewelyn had retired early. McCowen gets NSNA's best line when he hears of Bond's latest assignment and tells the agent: "Now you're on this. I hope we're going to have some gratuitous sex and violence!" Bond replies he hopes so too.

Alec McCowen

There were usually Q types in the myriad Bond knockoffs and ripoffs over the decades, but none of them stand out as they are usually played so over-the-top as to be just disregarded as silly. Besides, why mess with the also-rans - when you can watch the original!

And with that in mind - to finish us off - I couldn't believe this when I saw it - but an incredibly talented person reimagined Desmond Llewelyn's Q as the star of his own TV show - and using the theme song from an 80's TV hero - here's what the opening would have looked like:

That is truly one of the most clever things I've ever seen - I think Desmond Llewlyn would have loved it!

Til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!