Archive for the ‘T.V. & Movies’ Category

March of the Wooden Soldiers

November 11, 2012

I spent quite some time sitting in front of a blank screen thinking about how I’m going to start this blog post. How do I talk about a movie that’s very old yet very popular? What kind of perspective do I bring to a movie that practically everyone has seen and is aired every year. After pondering what to write, I guess eventually I came to this conclusion: I love this movie.

There are elements in this film that I do not like. For instance, I hate excessive singing. That is a reason why I don’t go to Broadway. But I don’t want to make a list of what I don’t like about it because it would be pointless. Anyone can make a nickpicky list about anything. This movie is entertaining and funny. I may have only watched one or two other movies with Laurel and Hardy, but this movie shows that they are great and play off each other very well. There is a lot of clever scheming when it comes to taking care of the mortgage. The movie turns to an action film when the Bogeymen show up with their rubber faces and puffy backs. This is a great movie that ages well.

Those wild and crazy guys!

I mention this movie because it has become a Thanksgiving Day tradition for many years of my life. I remember as a young boy that I used to flip the channels between the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and this movie every year. When I figured out how to use a VCR, I would tape the movie and watch the parade. When 12pm would hit, I would put on the movie. I had nothing to do since school was closed and I was too young to cook, so why not spend the day in front of the television? I used to do that lots of times.

The movie would air every Thanksgiving on W.P.I.X. 11 in New York City. That was the same channel where I discovered the Twilight Zone Marathon. Since I used to watch a lot of TV during the school summer break, it was also where I discovered the awesomeness of the Batman hour. Even though it was an hour long, the show would still say, “same bat time, same bat channel.” Television at it’s best.

It has actually been a few years since I’ve seen the movie on network television but it’s not because it hasn’t aired. I truly have no idea if it is still on at Thanksgiving. Some networks also air the movie on Christmas but many remember it playing on TV in November. I’m going to keep a look out for it this year and see if the tradition has been kept on TV. If not, I guess it’s another movie for my Blu-ray collection. Believe it or not, it has just been released for 3D Blu-ray. I have no idea how that looks, but I would give that a shot. I’m assuming that in 50 years from now, they’ll release the Holodeck version and that should be fun.

 

Three Awesome Old-School Summer Vacation Movies!

August 6, 2012

 

Summer is really flying by! We are less than a month away from September and I haven’t even had a barbecue yet. What I am good at concerning summer is watching T.V., especially since my school break days. My summers are lived vicariously through vacation movies and here are three of my favorites.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Clark Griswald takes his family on a road trip across the Midwest to the awesome Wally World (not Walmart). Everything bad that can happen does, including ingesting pee and a death of a family member, but this movie even makes that tragic event funny. Watch this movie if you have not.

National Lampoon's Vacation

Good luck on the road! You’ll need it!

One Crazy Summer

A high school graduate joins his buddy to spend the summer on Nantucket Island and gets into zany situations, surprisingly without the use of drugs and alcohol. He must also save the house of his female friend’s grandfather by winning a boat race. Just participating in a boat race would be a crazy summer for me. Who does these things?

one crazy summer

This is a crazy summer, is it not?

The Great Outdoors

John Candy brings his family to a cabin in a small wilderness town for vacation and his Yuppie brother-in-law, played by Dan Aykroyd, decides to crash their fun with his own family. There are funny situations that occur, but the gem of this movie is watching the comedic interactions between Candy and Aykroyd. This movie is a favorite and I watch at least once a year. It also tempts me to enter eating contest, but I feel weird when people watch me put things in my mouth.

the great outdoors

Two geniuses, one movie.

There are, of course, many other vacation movies that deserve mention but I decided to only list three for now. I will probably write another similar blog but I have to go. I’m starting to go into T.V. withdrawal.

 

July 4th Twilight Zone Marathon

July 3, 2012

When it comes to July 4th, most Americans think about grilling, fireworks, or maybe even independence. However, there are a few who think of science fiction and not because of that silly Will Smith movie. For many years, the Twilight Zone marathon has aired on Independence Day or New Years Day annually. It has become a tradition which probably became even more popular with the invention of DVRs.

I’d explain what the show is about but a perfect opportunity is coming this Wednesday to actually see it on Syfy. I’ve known of this program my whole life but truly discovered it in my early teens. There was a marathon airing one July 4th on WPIX, the local network channel in NYC and I decided to finally give it a shot to see what the fuss was about. The first one I saw was “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.” It was okay but nothing to write home about. The next episode, “To Serve Man” was the one that really blew my mind and helped me realized that this show was something special and I’ve been missing out. I can still remember how my mind was reeling after watching the end twist.

Usually I’ll put on the marathon when I happen to be home and it’s on during the day or while falling asleep. I’ve watched most of the episodes by now but still enjoy them and look for my favorites. Since it is coming up, I decided to list my top five episodes. Now, this sounds crazy to do because there are many great episodes and five seem too restrictive. Favorites can also change and almost everyone will probably have different lists. All I’m doing is just listing my current five after some (not much) consideration and in random order.

The Midnight Sun (July 5th 12am EST Syfy)

This is a desperate situation where eventually the end of the world will come. Every time I watch it, I get very hot and uncomfortable, which is most likely due to convincing acting. It also has an interesting twist, which is still depressing. It’s creepy yet satisfying. Certainly not a situation I would not want to find myself in.

The Obsolete Man (July 4th 11:30pm EST Syfy)

This episode has the awesome Burguess Mederith condemned for being obsolete; his job was librarian when books are outlawed. Like most of the episodes, there is a bunch of social commentary here, the most glaring is the argument against totalitarianism. Yet a big reason I like this one is because I like yelling, “YOU ARE OBSOLETE!”

The Shelter (Not Aired)

This one is ugly because everyone eventually get shot up with the Mel Gibson truth serum. A dinner party gets informed that there may be missiles headed their way from Russia and only one of the families have a bomb shelter. You can imagine how bad the situation gets when people are desperate. There’s even a bit of racism against a Hispanic. Entertaining stuff, even if it’s a nightmare. It’s not airing this year on the marathon but you can find it on Youtube. Heck, you can find most episodes on Youtube.

Time Enough at Last (July 4th 9:30pm EST Syfy)

Burguess Mederith appears again as a guy who just wants to read a book but it seems like everyone hates that he likes to read a lot. I swear, I could understand that mentality if they had Dancing with the Stars in the late 50’s/early 60’s, but they didn’t. It’s okay though cause a missile takes care of his problem.

To Serve Man (July 4th 10pm EST Syfy)

Aliens come to Earth to bring peace, but others are suspicious of them. I don’t want to say more for those who are reading but never saw it, but if that’s the case, stop reading and watch the episode already. This is the one I mentioned earlier that blew my mind and got me hooked. Watch it before someone else ruins the ending for you.

Syfy now airs the marathon and has for the past several years. Unfortunately they cut the marathon down to only 21 hours this year when it used to be on for two days straight. I don’t know why it was shortened and nobody seems to be saying anything. Still, it’s nice to keep the tradition going and maybe it will be longer for New Years. You can find a list of the episodes for this year’s marathon here. Please feel free to comment on what your favorite episodes are for the show. Like I said, most lists will probably be different. Enjoy and have a Happy Independence Day!