Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Reckon we got us a bit of a round up to do today. What say ya'll saddle up and ride on over to take a look at the good stuff. Think there will be somethin' that'll interest you. Hang on to your hat, cause here we go....

Top Shelf Pick of the Week:
The James Stewart Signature Collection.
I'll admit right up front that I am a big James Stewart fan. Wolf is also. This is the set that hits the spot- a bullseye as it were. You see, we have quite a few Stewart westerns, big hits, and comedies out on DVD already. What we need are not double dips or repackaged DVD sets. What we need are more great Stewart films for the old home movie collection. These films are along the lines of good to excellent and they show a good more breadth of Stewart's range in his post-WWII career. The Naked Spur is the third western that Stewart did with director Anthony Mann. Also starring Janet Leigh and Robert Ryan, The Naked Spur features Stewart as a bounty hunter with two questionable associates trying to bring in bad guy Robert Ryan, who is accompanied by girlfriend Janet Leigh. The FBI Story is a straight forward film about the career of an FBI agent from the beginnings of the agency up to the 1950s. A bit glossy, but enjoyable nonetheless. The Spirit of St.Louis is the story of Charles Lindbergh and his historical Transatlantic flight. (John over at Greenbriar Picture Shows has a great article about that film.) Other films include The Stratton Story, The Cheyanne Social Club, and Firecreek. This is a great set that is a welcome addition to any film buff's fan.

Other great sets:
The Ronald Reagan Signature Collection
I am very glad to see Knute Rockne: All American out on DVD. Pat O'Brien deserves his own Signature set, quite frankly. Anyway... other excellent films in this collection: Kings Row, The Winning Team, The Hasty Hart, and Storm Warning. Don't dismiss the ol' gipper. He was an excellent actor, maybe of limited range, but he could still carry an excellent film.

Hong Kong Phooey and Magilla Gorilla

Being a kid in the 70s and early 80s on Saturday mornings usually one thing: overdosing on sugary cereal and cartoons. One of the most prolific among the purveyors of the animated goods was Hanna-Barabara. The sheer amount of recognizable charaters they created is legendary. Luckily if you are old enough that you could name most of them, HB has the sets for you... er, your kids, I mean. Right. Fanrific!

Other good DVDs out this week:
Apocoalypse Now: The Complete Dossier: Yet another DVD. Still this has to be everything they could put in a set. Right? Right?!

The Clark Gable Collection: Fox brings us three excellent Gable films. Call of the Wild, The Tall Men, and Soldier of Fortune are included.

The Jeffersons: The Complete Fifth Season
Remington Steele: Seasons Four and Five
Hogan's Heroes: The Complete Fourth Season

Indian Yell by: Michael Blake

Blake, the author of Dances with Wolves, brings us an interesting look at the battles in the American West of the late 1800s, between Native American tribes and the American Military. The focus is on twelve particularly significant battles, and Blake looks at them with a perspective of Native Americans as 19th century insurgents. In fact, the book is subtitled The Heart of the American Insurgency. I am not entirely comfortable with squeezing in historical events through the sieve of a modern day thesis, but I am willing to give this a go because the subject matter is worthwhile. Just go through with a juandiced eye.

Foreplay: X
Jazz music has so many subgenres that it is hard to really keep up. Most jazz enthusiasts know the differences, and although they have particular favorites, most kinds hit the CD player every now and again. Foreplay is a group comprised of four jazz artists with separate, successful careers who come together to create great music. Soft, pop jazz with traditional flavor.

Television: (check local listings for times)

Random stuff:
Big Brother 7: It's the half-way point and some really good players have been shown the door. Hard to believe, but King Kaysar is gone. Will continues to run circles around the rest of them. At least the competitions aren't all about giving luxuries. Some have been taken away.
Also: Reno 911, Psyche, and...
Feasting on Asphalt. Alton and crew have made it to Mexican Hat, UT. In Saturday's final episode, they wing their way to LA, but Alton gets a minor injury along the way. If you've missed the previous episodes, don't worry- a marathon will be on prior to the last episode. And I'm sure there will be a DVD soon.

Turner Classic Movies:
Shelf picks for TCM

It's still a Summer Under the Stars, so each night has a different movie star's films. Here are our picks for each night. (We'd probably pick most of the lineup anyway, but we want to hit the highlights!)

Aug. 15th, Richard Dix: The Whistler (1944), Cimarron (1931) , and The Arizonian (1935) .

Aug. 16th, Joseph Cotten: Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles: The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice (1952) , F for Fake (1973) , and The Third Man (1949).

Aug. 17th, Carole Lombard: My Man Godfrey (1936), Fools For Scandal (1938), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941), and To Be or Not to Be (1942) .

Aug. 18th, Bela Lugosi: White Zombie (1932) , Mark Of The Vampire (1935), Ghosts on the Loose (1943), Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), and Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932).

Aug. 19th, Audrey Hepburn: The Children's Hour (1961), Charade (1963), Funny Face (1957) , My Fair Lady (1964), and Wait Until Dark (1967).

Aug. 20th, Lee Marvin: Bad Day At Black Rock (1955), The Professionals (1966), Seven Men From Now (1956), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and Point Blank (1967).

Aug. 21st, David Niven: The Prisoner Of Zenda (1937), The Charge Of The Light Brigade (1936), The Dawn Patrol (1938), Soldiers Three (1951), and The Bishop's Wife (1947).

Well, pardner that's the end of the trail. Reckon it'll be beans and some beef tonight afore we bed down. Tell Cookie to keep the fire warm and we'll be on the trail again soon. 'Til then...

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.

Choosin' a way to die? What's the difference? Choosin' a way to live - that's the hard part.


Christian Johnson said...

Hong Kong Phooey?! Awesome. That's all I can say about that.

I too have been enjoying Feasting on Asphalt. My only critique is that I wish there were more of it. The natural "road diary" nature of the show makes for wonderful watching and Alton's self-deprecating humor really works. I like all of Alton's shows, but my wife only enjoys what she calls the "spontaneous or scientific Altons." Jody likes it when Alton is on Iron Chef and she loves his "Bill Nye" style info, but she hates his skits. Feasting has everything Jody likes with none of the kitsch. Great show.

Anonymous said...

The Reagan films are alot better than anyone gives them credit for. The only real reason anyone disdained them was political character assasination- starting when he first ran for governor. King's Row is really good.
Where's Wolf? Hadn't heard from him in a while.

Art said...

I have been waiting for Knute Rockne on DVD forever. I love the film's score.


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