Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Forgotten Song: Theme From "St. Elsewhere"

I know some friends that are pretty damn fervid (a great word by the way... so rarely have an opportunity to use it in a sentence.) about the Grey's Anatomy TV series. I can understand that. Besides cop and court room dramas, nothing else has been a television staple like the medical series. It's proven to contain ample character and story fodder for writers and producers to mine for people's musing and entertainment. And I'm no different when it comes down to my favorites (I come from a long line of folk who've gotten sucked down into the vortex of diagnosis drama for their viewing pleasure). My grandmother never missed a Ben Casey or Dr. Kildare episode in her day (I sat right there with her, too... mind you, I didn't have a choice). Probably, this is where medical comedy/drama shows (like Medical Center, MASH, City of Angels) became ingrained in my psyche. I still fondly remember ER (before all the original cast left) and Chicago Hope (before the show lost its mind).

The rest of this post has been updated and moved over to my current blog, found here.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

In Prep for John Carpenter Week

Besides having my son turn 15 that month, the other event I'm looking forward to in October is the blogathon for a favorite director of mine. My good friend J.D. over at RADIATOR HEAVEN will be celebrating John Carpenter Week October 3 - 9, 2010.
So, feeling pretty inspired by all of this I acquired two films by Carpenter I've been looking forward to. The first is a copy of the film which initially started my appreciation for the talents of one of the most underrated actors I know. The performer is Kurt Russell, and the film is the 1979 TV movie by John Carpenter, Elvis (finally out this year in DVD):
The second film, at first, you'd suspect would already be in my library of discs... and it is. Starman came out in 1984 and starred Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen (another pair of favorites). However, for the U.S. market, each and every disc released (including last year's version in Blu-ray Disc) has basically sucked when it came to extras and special features. In other words, they're pretty barebones (and sometimes badly cropped). So, I recently picked up the Region 2 disc from the U.K. for the upcoming occasion:
It offers the proper widescreen aspect ratio (2.35:1), the trailer, music video, a featurette, and a commentary track that includes John Carpenter and Jeff Bridges discussing the film. Take that, Sony U.S.! I swear, it pays to have a region-free disc player ;-).
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Friday, August 20, 2010

A Scanner Darkly Film Review

Once again, dear readers, my esteemed blogger companion (Rachel of a Scientist Gone Wordy) and I have ventured into another of our parallel posts where we review and discuss a book at hand, and its film adaptation. She (with the speed reading ability) covers the literary material, and I tackle the celluloid version (since I have no such super-human powers). In this case (like in our first undertaking), it is another of the famed American writer/novelist Philip K. Dick's science fiction stories, A Scanner Darkly (adapted to the screen in 2006). Rachel's review of the 1977 science fiction novel can be found here:

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

A brief synopsis of the film: In the not too distant future (this one a mere seven years from now... and counting), the ongoing and decades old War on Drugs (which was started way back during Nixon's presidency) has dragged the country down to a new level. The populace is in the midst of an epidemic involving the illegal and addictive narcotic known as Substance D, while government law enforcement has gone the totalitarian (surveillance-heavy) society route in an effort to eradicate the latest drug scourge. The story follows an undercover narcotics cop, Bob Arctor (code named Fred), who is living with a pair of addicts in an attempt to obtain fresh intel on the dealers higher up the supply chain. However, the cop (now thoroughly addicted to Substance D) has begun to lose his hold on his own identity, who he can trust, and the task at hand.

[spoiler warning: some key elements of the film are revealed in this review]

This movie review has been moved and updated to my current blog, which can be found here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book in Life as Meme

Almost a year ago, I participated in my dear friend's (and fellow Angeleno, Pop Culture Nerd) continuation of a book title meme. Mine definitely were not as clever as PCN's, though. As we are coming up on that meme's anniversary, she's at it again. As usual, she's got more than 50 books in her bank of titles to use. While I can't compete with that (hey, there's a reason the word Lazy is in my blog's title), I will again offer a response by answering this year's questions using only the book titles I've read this year. Anyone wishing to join in is more than welcome. Now if she only used movies, I'd might have a chance...

In high school I was: The Lock Artist (Steve Hamilton)
People might be surprised I’m: Elsewhere (William Peter Blatty)
I will never be: The Cleaner (Brett Battles)
My fantasy job is: The Mystic Art of Erasing All Signs of Death (Charlie Huston)
At the end of a long day I need: California Fire and Life (Don Winslow)
I hate it when: Kindness Goes Unpunished (Craig Johnson)
Wish I had: The Shawshank Redemption (Stephen King)
My family reunions are: Why We Suck (Denis Leary)
At a party you’d find me with: The Guards (Ken Bruen)
I’ve never been to: The Rainy City (Earl W. Emerson)
A happy day includes: The Gentlemen's Hour (Don Winslow)
Motto I live by: Print the Legend (Craig McDonald)
On my bucket list: K2 (Ed Viesturs)
In my next life, I want to beRoad Dogs (Elmore Leonard)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Personal Review - Remember Me

Star Trek: The Next Generation
Episode Title: Remember Me
Episode #: 79
Season: Four
Star Date: 44161.2
Original Airdate: October 22, 1990
Written by: Lee Sheldon
Directed by: Cliff Bole

As my blogging friends John Kenneth Muir and Sci-Fi Fanatic would perhaps agree, a program I once adored, Star Trek: The Next Generation, has not aged as well as I'd have hoped since it initially hit the analog airwaves (those are now gone, but not forgotten) back in September 1987. Star Trek, the original series, has fared far better in retrospection (see Sci-Fi Fanatic's look into the series, if you don't believe me). Glancing back (from more than 20 years out) at the series, a few of the episodes can be a cold slap in the face for the Star Trek follower in me. What I once found ideal (or even cutting edge... maybe it was just New Agey) is now a bit uneven and dated, at times. I have a personal connection with the sci-fi program because, when it debuted, a light was also dawning on me regarding one special person I'd known at work (my future bride). We dated, became engaged and married during the show's first and second seasons, in fact. It was a commonality for us in our first years of wedlock, too. We watched the program devotedly all the way through to its final episode.
The rest of this post has been updated and moved over to my current blog, found here.Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Worth Reading: Steven Hart & The Last Three Miles

To say the least, writer and journalist Steven Hart has a way with words. A good example of that is how he used them for the bio on his personal website:
“I was abandoned as an infant and raised by wolves in the New Jersey countryside, taking shelter by day in the undergrowth of highway medians and traffic ramps. A kindly farmer found me in one of his snares and brought me back to his house, where he taught me to read, speak and write my name with a firm but crooked hand. After that, there was nothing to do but send me to Rutgers University, where despite my best efforts I graduated with a degree in English. I live with my family midst amber waves of condos and shopping malls, enjoying a quiet life, except on moonlit nights when my four-legged brothers and I range the countryside in search of prey.”
This post has been moved to my current blog, which can be found here.
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Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Forgotten Song: Our Winter Love

You can ask my kids about this fact, but I have a soft spot for the old music instrumentals that were once more common on the radio and music charts back in the decades of my long gone youth. One of my long time favorites, from 1963, is the Bill Pursell performed Our Winter Love. It remains a hauntingly beautiful melody, IMO. Outside of the Percy Faith's version of Theme from A Summer Place, it is the one instrumental tune I most fondly associate with the 60's.

This post has been updated and moved to my current blog, which can be found here.