Wednesday, July 12, 2006

one-armed men wouldn't be able to serve tacos...

What's the matter kid? Something got ya down? Don't look so glum, chum! We're here to turn that frown upside down- or at least make you laugh so hard you shoot milk through your nose. It's time for that ancient mysterious ritual performed every week in order to keep the universe aligned. That weekly foray into pop culture goodness known as the Media Roundup. Strap yourself in, it's time to hit the metal to the pedal...

Top Shelf Pick of the Week:
Reno 911!: Season Three

I know what you are thinking: "Mr. Loophole didn't choose a classic film for Top Shelf Pick of the Week?!?!" But before you really start throwing around those question marks and exclamation points like they were going out of style, hear me out. Reno 911! is one of the funniest shows on television. Sure we liked Chappelle. Yes, South Park rules. But there is something about this show that just makes you realize: hey these guys are not PC, they don't care, and they are hilarious. What is up with that? Remember MTV's The State? Some of those guys are here. Think this is just a parody of cop shows like Cops! or Real Stories of the Highway Patrol? You are only partially right. This show skewers pop culture, television , stereotypes, and anything else that comes in its sights. A mix of improv and hilarious characters and fantastic visual humor (some of my favorite bits are when Junior pulls someone over), Reno 911! is perhaps one the more underappreciated shows on Comedy Central and receives very little press or hype. And yet it's season DVD sets sell like gangbusters and the are in the process of making a Reno 911! movie. I don't see any Chappelle Show movies coming out anytime soon (and too bad). One of the things that make the show really work is the cast and the characters. Some great minor characters like Craig, Terry, and the milkshake guy are some of the best in recent television. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and catch Seasons 1 and 2 and then catch up with Lt. Dangle and crew in Season 3.

Fox Studio Classics

The Black Swan, The River's Edge, The Keys of the Kingdom

This week Fox Studios is releasing a trio of classic films, all new to DVD. One film, in particular, is very much anxiously awaited: The Black Swan. Released, perhaps to coincide with The Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest hitting the theaters, The Black Swan is a swashbuckler starring Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara. Pirate Henry Morgan is made Provincial Governor of Jamaica and sets out to rid himself and the Caribbean of pirates (and by doing so gets rid of competition). Tyrone Power as Captain Waring leads the others against Morgan and along with the former Governor's daughter, Margaret Denby (O'Hara), who he has kidnapped- he takes the fight to Morgan. The commentary track is of particular interest to fans, as it features film historian Rudy Behlmer and star Maureen O'Hara. The River's Edge stars Ray Milland as desperate villain, Nardo Denning trying to get away from authorities. He comes across the home of Ben Cameron (Anthony Quinn) and Mrs. Cameron (Debra Padget) and forces them to get him and his stolen booty (sorry, still on the pirates) to Mexico. The Keys of the Kingdom features Gregory Peck as a priest sent by his superior (Vincent Price) to China to work as a result of his unorthodox methods. In China, the priest encounters the hardships you would expect, but also a chance to connect with the people and help them against an invading army. All of these movies were based on novels. In fact the novel that The Black Swan was based on was written by the same author, Rafael Sabatini, who wrote the novels The Sea Hawk and Captain Blood- both made in to movies starring Errol Flynn.


Bing Crosby: Good and Rare

The album should win an award for "most obvious title that a music industry moron thought up in less than 5 seconds". If there was a reward for such a thing. Nonetheless, the album lives up to its name. This is collection of songs from Broadway shows, movies, and some from radio show appearances. Not all of them immediately associated with der Bingle. This is an album more for fans of Bing's voice and work, and is not a greatest hits album by any means.

Aretha Franklin: Live at Fillmore West
The Queen Diva of Soul is at her very best in this 2 disc set of her concert at the Fillmore in 1971. Included are some of her best known hits, but also some rare stuff, like a duet with Ray Charles who was there that evening. Fans, as well as casual listeners will be wowed by not only the energy and rawness, but the depth of her voice and music. Definitely a classic.

Television (check local listings for times)

Assorted stuff:

Big Brother 7: All Stars.
The scheming has begun. If you haven't been keeping up with one of our guilty pleasures, well- perhaps you just haven't tried. Danielle and Allison are up on the block, and with several houseguests gunning for first blood, this might be one of the fiercest first evictions ever. Gone are the days of evicting out someone we never get to know, just because no one knows them. Danielle and Allison tried to pull off a scheme and blew up in their faces. These Houseguest know way too much about each other. Time to bring your "A" game.

Titin and I: OK this is perhaps somewhat strange, but I gotta tell you, I've enjoyed some shows on PBS lately. Just don't tell Wolf. Tintin and I is documentary by filmmaker Anders Østergaard on European cartoonist Hergé and his famous creation, boy reporter and adventurer, Tintin. I read Tintin comics growing up and I loved them. Hugely popular in Europe, Canada, and other parts of the world and yet not so much here in the States. That's sad, because Hergé was extremely talented and his comic adventures were great and wonderfully illustrated. You can read more about the documentary at the PBS website.
History Detectives: Alright, I am a bit of a sucker when it comes to shows like this. Trust me, just check it out, entertaining and informative - check it out. A good way to introduce kids to history and dispell the notion that it's boring and not important.

Reno 911!: Man, what else can I say about the show- just go check it out!


Shelf Picks for Turner Classic Movies

July 12th: Dont' miss Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck in Frank Capra's classic Meet John Doe (1941). Later, watch Shakespeare done as Film Noir in Orson Welles: The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice (1952).
July 13th: It's an Elizabeth Taylor Trifecta: Suddenly, Last Summer (1959), Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958), and A Place in the Sun (1951).
July 14th: Idealistic school teacher Glenn Ford faces off againsrabblele rouser Vic Marrow with a little help from Sydney Poitier in Blackboard Jungle (1955).
July 15th: An eclectic day at TCM kicking things off with Film Noir classic Born To Kill (1947). Don't forget to watch those genius brothers Marx in Monkey Business (1931). Robert Mitchum is gearing up for trouble in Thunder Road (1958). Top it all off with Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940).
July 16th: It's a tribute in honor of lovely leading lady June Allyson: The Reformer And The Redhead (1950), Best Foot Forward (1943), Private Screenings: June Allyson (1998), Too Young To Kiss (1951), Little Women (1949), and Good News (1947).
July 17th: Catch some early and not so well known James Cagney and don't miss the documentary: Lady Killer (1933), Here Comes the Navy (1934), and James Cagney: Top of the World (1992).
July 18th: In honor of the release of Warner Brother's Tough Guy DVD Box set you can watch many of the films this night on TCM: Each Dawn I Die (1939), G-Men (1935), San Quentin (1937), and Bullets Or Ballots (1936).

Did we miss anything? Looking forward to something coming out next week? We sure are. Sound off in the comment section.

That's all for this edition of the roundup. Go tell your friends about us- in case they haven't already told you! We love having visitors. Next time come back an stay a while, kick your shoes off. Y'all come back now, ya hear?

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

I'm in five gangs now. I started two. I started the Kitties and the Grape Slushies.


Anonymous said...

Reno 911! is f-n hilarious. The movie they are filming is called Reno 911!- Miami. I think I heard it comes out next year sometime. I think that makes South Park and Reno 911! the only comedy central shows that were made into movies.

brewjoe said...

I also read Tintin as a kid. You can still find them in bookstores in collected editions. I think in hardback.

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Christian Johnson said...

I enjoy Reno:911! as well, even if I keep wondering where all those "Reno Palmtrees" are. Having lived in Reno for quite some time the palmtrees sometimes knock me out of the narrative, but then I pretend I'm watching Reno: 911! San Bernardino and everything is okay again.

As for the Sabatini novel, thanks for pointing out that The Black Swan was based on one of his novels. Though one shouldn't be fooled when watching a film like the Sea Hawk that they are watching the Sabatini. In fact, the novel version of The Sea Hawk is so different from the wonderful film that I recommend you go out and read it now.

You heard! Oh, and don't forget your Q'uran when reading it.

J.C. Loophole said...

I have heard the movie Sea Hawk is different from Sabatini's book. The Black Swan is somewhat different as well. I don't usually have much of a problem with that- two different ways to enjoy a great story.
And I'll get to The Sea Hawk soon- man, that Peanuts Treasury is taking forever!

Christian Johnson said...

And many more years worth of Peanuts to go...mooo...haaa...haaa!

Wolf Flywheel said...

What would give you the idea that I am opposed to PBS. I've watched several excellent documentaries there in the last couple of years. Shame on you for your presumptuousness.

J.C. Loophole said...

If there is such a word, you very well might have learned on PBS.

Wolf Flywheel said...

Look! You don't understand. I had just finished watching this clip on you tube when I wrote that.

Wolf Flywheel said...

Besides, that is a word and it is spelled correctly!


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