Saturday, January 25, 2020

Pop Song of the Week: "Dear Prudence"

My favorite Beatles cover. Gracias a Dios that Richard Curtis didn't make me forget it.

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Movie Song of the Week: "Make 'Em Laugh"

It's been that kind of a week so why not this type of song? The one song in Singin' in the Rain that everyone seems to like but never seems to remember -- perhaps because they're too busy laughing.

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Movie Quote of the Week

We have no interest in seeing World War III - unless we start it.
--Joe Don Baker, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

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TV Quote of the Week

We no longer have accents. You do.
David Clennon, Barney Miller, "Asylum"

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Friday, January 24, 2020

Trailer of the Week: Die, Monster, Die!

Proof that an ailing Boris Karloff and a Edgar Allan Poe-ized adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Color Out of Space" do not make for a very watchable combination.

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Quote of the Week

What the hell is nostalgia doing in a science-fiction film? With the whole universe and all the future to play in, Lucas took his marvelous toys and crawled under the fringed cloth on the parlor table, back into a nice safe hideyhole, along with Flash Gordon and the Cowardly Lion and Luck Skywalker and the Flying Aces and the Hitler Jugend. If there’s a message there, I don’t think I want to hear it.
--Ursula K. Le Guin, repr. in Dancing at the Edge of the World (1989). “Close Encounters, Star Wars, and the Tertium Quid,” Future, Aug. 1978

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Good Times, Bad Times, You Know I've Had My Share...

I came this close to calling the paramedics this morning but fortunately, I was able to resolve my health issues without their help.

Still... I'm dreading the day when I have no choice but to call them. Last time I had such a day, I ended up in the hospital and I'm still paying bills from that period.

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Monday, January 20, 2020

¡Feliz Día de Martin Luther King, Jr.!

A lot of things look easy once somebody else has done them.
--David Drake, The Military Dimension: Mark II

If that above quote doesn't sum up my view of the various attempts made by revisionists this past decade to dismiss King as a grandstander whose protests were unnecessary because an end to segregation would have eventually come anyway, I don't know what does. And it is not likely my view has changed now that we all are living in the Age of Trump.

I hope you all have a good holiday despite the existence of such foolish people.

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Fantasy Quote of the Week

Now why must the word "art" bring out the worst in a man, as if it were a license to assume the morals of a lizard and the grooming habits of a sick guinea pig?
--Esther Friesner, Druid's Blood

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Science Fiction Quote of the Week

Halvorsen leafed tiredly through the rest of the paper. He knew he wouldn't get a job, and if he did he wouldn't hold it. He knew it was a terrible thing to admit to yourself that you might starve to death because you were bored by anything except art, but he admitted it.

It had happened often enough in the past -- artists undergoing preposterous hardships, not, as people thought, because they were devoted to art, but because nothing else was interesting. If there were only some impressive, sonorous word that summed up the aching, oppressive futility that overcame him when he tried to get out of art -- only there wasn't.
--C. M. Kornbluth, “With These Hands”

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The Clint Eastwood Vanity Project: The Mule

Remember when Clint Eastwood actually made good movies? Yes, I have a hard time remembering those days too.

It would be nice to pretend that the 2018 movie The Mule is the big exception to that rule. But it isn't. Eastwood wants so hard to have it both ways -- on one hand, presenting his character as a lovable geezer whom everyone -- even Mexican drug smugglers -- likes while on the other, reminding us through his interactions with his family that he is not all that likable -- but this approach never really works.

Part of the problem is that Eastwood already adequately capped off his film career in two previous movies: Unforgiven and In the Line of Fire. Since then, it's been kinda hard to not get the impression that Eastwood has been spinning his artistic wheels, so to speak.

It would be nice to pretend that Eastwood is so good that even the worst Eastwood movie is more watchable than most other films -- but I find it harder and harder to believe that. And The Mule doesn't offer me much proof that I'm wrong.

All the same, I'm glad to see Eastwood is still managing to find work at his age. I just wish it was in a decent movie.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Trailer of the Week: The Train (1964)

Sometimes I suspect that this one film is perhaps the best comment on the arts that was ever made.

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Quote of the Week

Beware of artists. They mix with all classes of society and are therefore most dangerous.
--Queen Victoria

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Pensamientos Acerca de Televisión

Doctor Who (The Second Series): “Kerblam!”

Go, organics!

That line alone is the cleverest line that I can remember from this episode but unfortunately, the rest of the episode left much to be desired.

Part of the problem is that the show's writer took an excellent opportunity to satirize a popular corporation and how it contributed to the current trend toward dehumanization -- and then dropped the ball by bringing up yet another target whose presence, unfortunately, encouraged the audience to miss the writer's original point. I could readily understand the writer's desire to resist the temptation to write "The Robots of Death II" but unfortunately, his idea for a substitute was not much of an improvement. If anything, the writer's decision to sacrifice a sympathetic character in order to teach the bad guy a lesson made for a point point far more dubious than anything that happened in "The Robots of Death". As a result, it's hard to watch the resolution of this episde without getting a bad taste in one's mouth -- a very bad taste.

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Saturday, January 11, 2020

Pop Song of the Week: "Everybody Loves a Clown"

The theme song of the Joker and It fan clubs.

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Movie Song of the Week: "Walking in Space"

I must admit that I have always had mixed feelings about the various songs inspired by drug culture -- perhaps because I know too many real-life examples of the downside of the lifestyle inspired by said culture that can't be explained away as DEA propaganda.

And yet there's no denying the poetry in such songs like this one -- even if it reminds me of the old saying involving moths and flames.

It doesn't hurt that this particular song from the 1979 movie Hair featured a nice solo by actress Betty Buckley -- an actress usually best known for having played the gym teacher in the 1976 thriller Carrie. Ms. Buckley did such a nice job on her solo that I did not realize until recently that the young Vietnamese girl who mouthed her words on screen wasn't the real singer of the song. The things one learns as one gets older...

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Movie Quote of the Week

Excuse me. What are you doing? Yeah, you. Were you just putting that book away?

It looked like you were just... putting that book away. I guess you didn't know we have a system for putting books away here. Now I'm curious. You were just randomly putting that book on the shelf, is that it?

You've just given us a great idea. I mean, why are we wasting our time with the Dewey Decimal System when your system is so much easier? Much easier. We'll just put the books anywhere. Hear that, everybody?! Our friend here has given us a great idea! We'll just put the books any DAMN place we choose! We don't care, right? Isn't that right?
--Parker Posey, Party Girl (1995)

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TV Quote of the Week

It's an economic miracle! Of course it's wrong.
--Tom Baker, Doctor Who (The First Series) "The Pirate Planet"

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Friday, January 10, 2020

Trailer of the Week: Wonder Woman 1984

American Heroine Story: 1984.

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Random Thoughts

Nothing makes you appreciate the blessings of a warm house more than a cold winter day.

I never realizes how overplayed "Bohemian Rhapsody" was overplayed by local radio stations until I heard it on three separate radio stations within a ten-minute period. And yet I still like that song.

If there's anything more depressing than hearing so many 1980s songs on local radio stations, it's noticing how many of the songs that were overplayed back in the 1980s are still being overplayed today.

"Free" television seems to be rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

I used to enjoy going to the movies back in my younger days so it bothers me that I find it harder and harder to find the time to go to a movie and even harder to find a movie that's worth going to when I have the time.

What do I think of the political candidates who are running for President in 2020? As little as possible...

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