Sunday, October 31, 2010

This week on TCM... (October 31 - November 6)

Sunday, October 31 (Happy Halloween!)
The Tingler (1959) 3:00 PM
House Of Wax (1953) 6:15 PM
House On Haunted Hill (1959) 8:00 PM
The Haunting (1963) 9:30 PM
Poltergeist (1982) 11:30 PM

Monday, November 1 - This is the beginning of TCM's Moguls & Movie Stars documentary series that traces the history of cinematography and Hollywood. This series -- several years in the making -- promises to be completely unique in its scope, and it seems like TCM's evening schedule is meant to complement the documentary's content.
Moguls & Movie Stars, A History Of Hollywood: Peepshow Pioneers 8:00 PM (reshown at 11:00 PM and several times throughout the week)
The Films Of Thomas Edison (1893) 9:00 PM
D.W. Griffith With Biograph (1909) 12:05 AM
The Films of Georges Melies (1896) 2:10 AM

Wednesday, November 3
Nickelodeon (1976) 11:15 PM
When Comedy Was King (1959) 1:15 AM 'A compilation of funny moments from top comedians of the silent era'

Thursday, November 4
Alfie (1966) 11:30 AM - What's it all about, Alfie?
The Killers (1946) 8:00 PM - Beginning of the Ava Gardner month
Show Boat (1951) 12:15 AM

Friday, November 5
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) 2:30 PM
Foreign Correspondent (1940) 3:45 PM
The Palm Beach Story (1942) 6:00 PM

Saturday, November 6
Remember? (1939) 9:00 AM - This one sounds kind of intriguing.
Dial M For Murder (1954) 6:00 PM
Mutiny On The Bounty (1962) 8:00 PM - I can't actually recommend this beyond the fact that Marlon Brando is in it.

On a side note, I'm really enjoying the two new auction shows, Auction Kings (Tuesdays on Discovery) and Hollywood Treasure (Wednesdays on Syfy) [anytime on Hulu]. Both shows are absorbing and feature a wide range of interesting pop culture and historical collectibles. Both shows might be interesting to fans of Antiques Roadshow. The best part is, neither show has irritating personalities that detract from the curiosities and memorabilia (unlike, say, Pawn Stars and American Pickers). Also, now I want to work in an auction house.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The United Monster Talent Agency

The premise is every film buff's dream come true: what if fantastical cinema sights were, in fact, real? More specifically, what if the classic Universal Monsters -- Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the Mummy, and the Creature of the Black Lagoon -- weren't all makeup and special effects but real, live, actual creatures trying to make it in Hollywood? Well, first of all, they're going to need a (brave) agent! And so begins the faux promo for The United Monster Talent Agency, an immaculately-executed eight minute film by Greg Nicotero. The short film is a clever homage to the beloved 1950s institution and is sure to delight fans of older movies, and, of course, monster movies, in particular. Nicotero, a well-respected special effects artist, is especially known for his impressively gory zombie effects (see AMC's The Walking Dead airing on Halloween).

The United Monster Talent Agency is a truly inspired short that should be taking the internet by storm! Click on over to AMC's website to read more about it and watch this sweet Halloween treat!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

This week on... TCM (October 24-30)

Sunday, October 24
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 12:00 PM - Really worth watching
The Pleasure Seekers (1964) 8:00 PM
Nosferatu (1922) 12:00 AM
Vampyr - Der Traum des Allan Grey (1932) 2:00 AM
The Return Of The Vampire (1944) 3:30 AM

Monday, October 25
Summertime (1955) 8:15 AM - Once again, this is a lovely Katharine Hepburn movie
Hollywood Hotel (1937) 1:15 AM - 'Hooray For Hollywood'!
42nd Street (1933) 3:15 AM - One of the best musicals ever! Now opening in Philadelphia, P.U. Too bad this is on so late.

Tuesday, October 26
There Goes My Heart (1938) 10:15 PM - This is said to be a semi-screwball comedy starring Frederic March.

Wednesday, October 27
Lucky Partners (1940) 11:15 AM - A cute Ginger Rodgers movie with Ronald Colman
Mildred Pierce (1945) 6:00 PM
The Lady Eve (1941) 8:00 PM
Sweet Smell Of Success (1957) 10:00 PM - Tony 'Tony From The Movies' Curtis and Burt Lancaster
Gold Diggers Of 1933 (1933) 1:15 AM - Midweek Busby Berkeley to go with the earlier pair of Berkeley movies
Gold Diggers Of 1935 (1935) 3:00 AM - Not as good as Gold Diggers Of 1933 but THIS one has Berkeley's masterpiece, 'Lullabye of Broadway.'

Thursday, October 28 (theme: Atmospheric Thrillers)
Gold Diggers Of 1937 (1936) 4:45 AM - I've never seen this one!
Dead Of The Night (1945) 8:00 PM
Rebecca (1940) 10:00 PM - I'm reading this right now (well, sort of)!

Friday, October 29 (It's Fright (Day and) Night! + Hammer Horror and a few Bela Lugosi titles)
Doctor X (1932) 6:00 AM - Start your day the right way: with cannibals!
The Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933) 7:30 AM
The Vampire Bat (1933) 9:00 AM
The Corpse Vanishes (1942) 1:00 PM
The Devil Bat 2:15 PM
White Zombie (1932) 3:30 PM
Curse Of The Demon (1958) 6:00 PM

Saturday, October 30
The Walking Dead (1936) 9:15 AM
13 Ghosts (1960) 1:30 PM
Mr. Sardonicus (1961) 4:30 PM - The face on this guy will stay with you for a long time!
Strait-Jacket (1964) 6:15 PM
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962) 10:15 PM - Really good
Mad Love (1935) 12:45 AM - Peter Lorre!
Cat People (1942) 2:00 AM - I'm a cat person, so I think this is the movie for me!

Elsewhere on the TV dial, I've been enjoying this season of The Big Bang Theory so far, and 30 Rock has been especially good. Mondays through Thursdays have been spent watching the new channel, the Hub, especially Family Ties, The Wonder Years (just as wonderful as I remember it being!), Happy Days, and Laverne & Shirley. On Fridays, I've been tuning in to IFC to watch Todd Margaret and Freaks And Geeks (goes well with The Wonder Years). Then there's Cash Cab on the Discovery Channel. Also, Cartoon Network has a new fifteen minute show called MAD based on the classic humor magazine. I've watched a few episodes and, as a former MAD Magazine reader, I can say that it lives up to the high standards of its namesake!

Also, I got to see the film preservation documentary, Keepers Of The Frame again (check the Documentary Film Channel to see when it'll be on next). It was just as stirring the second time around. Another worthwhile documentary I've been watching is Richard Schickel's You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story which is currently airing on PBS' The American Masters. The first episode had me on the edge of my seat! (Note: The American Masters will soon be airing the LENNONYC documentary; don't miss it! The film premieres nationally Monday, November 22 at 9:00 PM on PBS)

I'm excited about a new series that airs on Tuesdays on the Discovery Channel called Auction Kings. Hopefully, it'll be as good as the commercial makes it seem.. I had high hopes for Pawn Stars and American Pickers, but I can't stand the people on the show, so I can't bring myself to watch them again.

IFC will be airing the British mini-series, The Dead Set which is apparently Big Brother UK meets 28 Days Later. It looks pretty gory and it has Davina McCall. It'd be better if it were Celebrity Big Brother and if it starred, say Bez and Pete Doherty, who already look like walking zombies.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Too Many Pop Culture Links To Twitter

New Releases
An updated edition of David Sedaris' Holidays On Ice with six new stories is now available in hardcover. From the Amazon page: 'This updated version includes The Monster Mash, poached from When You Are Engulfed..., in which Sedaris spends Halloween at the morgue; and The Cow and the Turkey, a new story featuring the Secret Santa woes of barnyard animals. Longtime fans will be happy to have all Sedaris's holiday stories in one volume, and those who've managed to miss the literary funny-man couldn't get a better gift.' This is also available as an unabridged cd. His latest book, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary, which I mentioned in this post, is a new release. [Here is a new interview with David Sedaris at the Guardian -- I thought I was the only one who wanted to see what Hugh looks like!]

Amy Sedaris' Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People will be the best book of the year, I should think. I mentioned it in this post, as well. This book will be released on November 2, 2010.

Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Forrester/Crow of MST3k, amongst other things) has a new book, Silly Rhymes For Belligerent Children, which will be available in the not-too-distant future is available through his website for $19.99 (PayPal). I haven't seen inside the book, but all indications are it's very much in the style of Edward Gorey. It features Trace's poems for the morbid child and illustrations by Len Peralta. If 'Weird Al' likes it, you will, too!

A Flash-based interactive map of Springfield boasts more than 180 screenshots from The Simpsons. Now you don't need to turn to Mapquest to find Costington's (Yeeeesssss...) and The Singing Sirloin! Now, if only you could figure out what state all these landmarks are in...

Never-before-seen footage of Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in Back To The Future.. That guy is everywhere!

25 Classic Anti-drug PSAs with Pee-Wee Herman, McGruff the Crime Dog, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Nancy Reagan!

A pictorial chronology of Clue(do) suspect card designs

Abe Books' Weird Book room, including Weird Cookbooks [also see Odd Books]

I loved this Gen Xtinct post about dead stores. What's your favorite dead store? Mine's Best!

Another great post at DesignCrave: 101 vintage campy horror movie posters! Diana Cook is responsible for all the posts that I've really enjoyed, including Boardwalk Empire: Vintage Atlantic City Design, Land (Line) of The Lost: Vintage Telephones, and 101 Vintage Lunch Box Designs.

I'm excited to see that the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special is on DVD. That's a holiday classic! I posted an advertisement for the 1987 special on Flickr.

Flickr photos
Curly Wurly special Halloween package - Creepywurly Ghost Mobile give-away; the mobile; [photos by Jason Liebig]

Adorable Clancy's Potato Snack Ghosts - packaging and the chips themselves. I wouldn't mind being haunted by them! [photos by Neato Coolville and product, possibly, available at Aldi's]

Fluorescerama: Race With The Devil (1975)

Satanists: something new for stoners to be paranoid about.

In the 1975 (oc)cult classic, Race With The Devil, Peter Fonda dusts off his persona of expressionless counter cultural type who takes to the open road. This time around he has three hapless companions, his friend and their wives (one is Loretta Swit!), who plan to go camping in their RV trailer. Things start to go awry when Fonda and his pal witness what, at first glance, appears to be an innocent drunken orgy but quickly turns sinister when they're spotted just after the crowd starts in on the human sacrifice.

Unfortunately, from that point on, they pick up something even worse than Jack Nicholson: every single Satanist in Texas. And, believe me, there's a lot more than you'd expect. The towns seem overrun with them, and they have some kind of a communication system that puts the internet to shame. Faster than you can say 'text message,' crooked mechanics, sheriffs, and librarians track their every move and seem to be tipping off a mobile mob of Satanists hellbent on snuffing out the outsiders before they find someone who doesn't have sympathy for the devil. However, time is on the side of Satan because, apparently, that hypothetical person is well outside state lines, and Texas is very large indeed. My favorite part of this cheesy chiller is when the two airhead wives take a demonic text out of the library to try to get some answers!

This movie poses the question: can four mellow hippies in an equally sluggish RV outrun the Satanists who are out for their blood? What's incredible is that the Satanists display an admirable work ethic as they attempt to catch up to the gang. Like, be cool, man, I won't give away the conclusion to this blazing suspense story, but if you're a fan of trashy b-movies, this one will have you on the edge of your bean bag chair (or, well, propped up uncomfortably). Race With The Devil is a great lesser-known addition to your Halloween scare-a-thon!

original theatrical trailer
at IMDb
at Wikipedia

(Incidentally, after having a sort of mid-life crisis, Jarvis Cocker of the greatest Britpop band, Pulp, completely styled himself after Peter Fonda. They're practically identical, and that in itself is chilling.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This week on... TCM (October 18-23)

There were a few days that I didn't see anything of interest, but some of the other nights are packed with good stuff!

Monday, October 18
The Heiress (1949) 4:00 PM - Again. It's a good movie, though, so if you haven't seen it before, it's worth watching. Montgomery Clift is in it!
Oliver! (1968) 8:00 PM - Food, glorious food!
The Lady From Shanghai (1948) 3:15 AM - Since I loved the last two Orson Welles movies I watched, I'm disappointed this one is on so late!

Wednesday, October 20
Arsenic And Old Lace (1944) 11:45 AM - One of my favorites! It's a perfect autumn night movie (unfortunately, it's on in the morning), and it's great especially for rainy nights. Cary Grant and Peter Lorre.. and.. isn't that Boris Kar.. no, I guess not!

Thursday, October 21 (theme: Hedy Lamarr)
Algiers (1938) 8:00 PM - Come with me to the Casbah! Features the famous character, Pépé le Moko (played by Charles Boyer in this film).
Ecstasy (1933) 4:00 AM - This is, supposedly, a great arthouse movie, though it is probably better known for being the movie in which Hedy Lamarr appears nude.

Friday, October 22 (themes: Constance Bennett and Hammer Horror)
Topper (1937) 11:45 AM - I think this is like Beetlejuice.
Topper Takes A Trip (1939) 1:30 PM - A Topper sequel without Cary Grant.
The Unsuspected (1947) 4:45 PM
It Should Happen To You (1954) 6:30 PM - This Jack Lemmon / Judy Holliday romantic comedy is cute!
X The Unknown (1956) 8:00 PM - Radioactive mud-like creatures!
Five Million Years To Earth (1968) 9:30 PM - A Quartermass film!
These Are The Damned (1963) 11:15 PM - Terrible things usually happen in Oliver Reed movies
Night Of The Lepus (1972) 4:15 AM - About the very real threat of killer rabbits

Saturday, October 23 (theme: Alec Guinness)
To Have And Have Not (1944) 2:00 PM - The first (and best) Bogie and Bacall movie
Kind Hearts And Coronets (1949) 8:00 PM - Alec Guinness plays eight characters in this movie!
The Captain's Paradise (1953) 10:00 PM - Alec Guinness only plays one character in this movie
Last Holiday (1950) 11:45 PM - Alec Guinness.. Queen Latifah, same difference.
The Horse's Mouth (1958) 1:30 AM
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) 3:15 AM

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This Week on... TCM (October 13-16)

Boy, am I late this week! I didn't get a chance to compile my TCM picks for the week on Sunday, so half the list is obsolete already! Here are a few interesting titles for the last half of the week:

Wednesday, October 13
Fingers At The Window (1942) 4:15 PM
Tension (1950) 3:00 AM

Thursday, October 14 (a few Hitchcock titles)
I Confess (1953) 12:15 PM - Starring Montgomery Clift and Karl Malden
Stage Fright (1950) 2:00 PM
The Wrong Man (1956) 4:00 PM - Excellent Hitchcock movie based on a true story
Dial M For Murder (1954) 6:00 PM
Murder She Said (1961) 12:00 AM - Miss Marple mystery
The Band Wagon (1953) 1:30 AM - Very good musical starring Fred Astaire, Oscar Levant, and Cyd Charisse. The highlight is 'The Girl Hunt,' which must have been one of Michael Jackson's favorite musical moments. He worked some of words and dance steps directly into several of his songs and routines (from the Dangerous era mostly).

Friday, October 15 (theme: Hammer Horror)
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952) 12:00 PM - Esther Williams
The Mummy (1959) 8:00 PM
Repo Man (1984) 2:45 AM - Surreal punk cult classic
Foxes (1980) 4:30 AM - This looks trashy and Scott Baio is in it!

Saturday, October 16
High Sierra (1941) 12:00 PM
Giant (1956) 2:00 PM - It is, but don't let that stop you from watching this movie!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sit, Hubu, Sit! Good dog.

Why is Paul in the family picture? If Paul's in the family picture, why not Winnie Cooper?

I can't believe it happened so quickly: this past week was my one year cable anniversary. Overall, I've been pleased with the selection of programming. I discovered that there is one half-decent TCM movie for every bum station filled with infomercials and mindless reality tv (In fact, I've watched 198 of them in the past year!). However, I've been lamenting the fact that I apparently missed out on the golden age of Nick At Nite and TV Land. I'm not sure how their definition of classic television has warped into George Lopez and Nanny reruns, and, while I used to watch Roseanne and a few other 1980s-90s sitcoms that air currently on (for some reason) multiple channels, they're not something that I'd want to watch for several hours every single day.

But deciding what to watch on television (my major daily dilemma) has just gotten a whole lot better and more confusing. The Hub is an all-new 'network for kids and their families' that debuted on October 10th. This cable channel has a prime-time dream lineup for fans of classic 1970s and 80s pop culture.

Bask in the Hub's weeknight (Monday through Thursday) prime-time schedule (EST):

Family Ties 8-9 PM - Mallory dressed like Little House on the Prairie for the first season! [see also the Mallory's Clothes Tumblr]
The Wonder Years (my favorite show of all-time) 9-9:30 PM - With the original soundtrack. I don't believe this will ever be on DVD in its original format, so set your recording devices to catch every bittersweet moment.
Doogie Howser, MD 9:30-10 PM - Boy genius doctor and first ever blogger!
Happy Days 10-11 PM - Got a couch? Then sit on it, Potsie, while you're watching the Fonz! Ayyy?
Laverne & Shirley 11-11:30 PM - Best enjoyed with a Pepsi-Cola and milk!
Batman 11:30 PM - 12 AM - Biff! Zok! Adam West!

During the afternoons, Hub airs the Jim Henson classic, Fraggle Rock, and late at night they have the original 1980s animated Transformers and GI Joe series. There are also new versions of Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, and the Pound Puppies (these are not the original animated versions that we enjoyed in the 1980s, though they still may be of interest). That's all I've noticed so far, but there might be even more exciting schedule additions! I haven't peeked ahead at the weekend schedule, but it looks like there's something called Family Game Night on Friday nights that is like Double Dare meets gigantic Hasbro games. Apparently the channel is owned by Hasbro, which explains the Hasbro game and Playskool advertisements.

Round out any schedule holes with the other great pop culture channel, Boomerang from Cartoon Network, and you'll never have to remember the last decade again. Boomerang has everything from The Banana Splits, Pink Panther, Scooby Doo (and other meddling kids in the guise of Jabberjaw and Speed Buggy), Top Cat, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, and Josie And The Pussycats to The Smurfs and The Snorks (to name but a few -- check the schedule for new editions).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

This Week on... TCM (October 3-9)

Sunday, October 3
Love Crazy (1941) 8:15 AM
Easy To Wed (1946) 10:00 AM - This remake of a great comedy, Libeled Lady, stars Van Johnson, Esther Williams, and Lucille Ball.
Wait Until Dark (1967) 12:00 PM - This suspenseful movie is fantastic! If you're not an Audrey Hepburn fan (not possible), at least watch it for a very psychotic Alan Arkin.
That Touch Of Mink (1962) 6:15 PM - Lovely romantic comedy with Cary Grant and Doris Day.. and behind-the-scenes of an automat!
Phantom (1922) 12:30 AM - It's a Murnau silent film!

Monday, October 4
Kiss Me Kate (1953) 9:45 AM
Pal Joey (1957) 2:00 PM
Who Was That Lady? (1960) 4:00 PM
Bye Bye Birdie (1963) 6:00 PM
Penthouse (1933) 8:00 PM
Touch Of Evil (1958) 11:30 PM
Cool Hand Luke (1967) 3:15 AM

Tuesday, October 5 (theme: Bette Davis and Frederic March)
The Catered Affair (1956) 3:30 PM - THIS IS AN AUTOMAT MOVIE, supposedly.
The Scapegoat (1959) 5:15 PM
Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1932) 8:00 PM
The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit (1956) 10:00 PM
I Married A Witch (1942) 12:45 AM

Wednesday, October 6
In Name Only (1939) 3:00 PM
Citizen Kane (1941) 8:00 PM
The Third Man (1949) 12:00 AM
The Earrings Of Madame De... (1954) 2:00 AM

Thursday, October 7
Ziegfeld Girl (1941) 7:45 AM
Cynthia (1947) 3:30 PM
Hollywood: The Dream Factory (1972) 7:00 PM - MGM documentary
Forbidden Planet (1956) 8:00 PM
Countdown (1968) 12:15 AM

Friday, October 8 (theme: Hammer Horror)
The Plague Of The Zombies (1966) 8:00 PM
The Devil's Bride (1968) 9:45 PM
The Gorgon (1964) 1:15 AM
Let's Kill Uncle (1966) 2:45 - Okay, Morrissey fans?

Saturday, October 9
Billy Budd (1962) 3:30 PM - With Terence Stamp. I'm sure Morrissey's seen this one, too.
Strangers On A Train (1951) 8:00 PM - One of the best suspense movies ever! Except.. apparently they're REMAKING this?!!?