A Farewell to Family Video

I knew the day would come soon enough. While not having the national reach of Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, Family Video has been a Midwest mainstay for the past 40 years, and a regular stop during weekly errands throughout my adult life. The news they’re closing their remaining locations hit me especially hard last week.

Continue reading “A Farewell to Family Video”

John Hughes: 1950-2009

As you may have heard, the world of cinema lost a great man today. A man who guided us through high school. He taught us that we were all the brain, the athlete, the basketcase, the princess and the criminal. He taught us that life moves fast, and that if we don’t stop and look around, we could miss it. That we’ll have a great vacation if it kills us. That being home alone would actually be kinda cool. For all the great movies. For all the great laughs. For all the great times. John Hughes I salute, you. Shermer, Illinois just got a little less sunny.

I put together a tribute to him, it’s going on the air tomorrow. Click here for the tribute. Stay tuned to the end.

Paul Newman RIP 1925-2008

Legendary actor, race car driver, philanthropist, sauce maker, gentleman and all around cool guy Paul Newman passed away Friday after a long battle with cancer. He was 83.

As per usual, videos below:

From Cool Hand Luke:

George Carlin: 1937-2008

I know much of the western world is deeply saddened by the news of George Carlin’s passing earlier today. I am in particular. He wasn’t just my favourite comedian. He was the reason I got into comedy in the first place. I got my hands on one of his tapes way back when I was a wee lad, say around 6 years of age. It was “FM&AM”, if I’m not mistaken. I was six, so I didn’t get a lot of the jokes, but he was making the audience laugh. And from then on, I was hooked on stand up. Loved it ever since. I’ve seen numerous specials and plenty of live shows. And thankfully, last year, I got to see Carlin down in Escanaba.

He was a brilliant comedian. Words were his instrument, and he was the Eric Clapton of comedy. And he wasn’t about quips, one liners or insults. He was about dissecting the language and the absurdities of it. He didn’t need to be profane, but because the dirty words were part of our language, they were part of his act. He could do 10 minutes on the word shit. In fact, I’m pretty sure he did.

He got his start in the late 50’s, hosting a radio show with Jack Burns. He did several TV appearences and live shows. This is an early one of his from the Smothers Brothers way back in ’68.

He was a frequent guest and guest host on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was the first ever host of a little program called Saturday Night Live.

This link takes you to the first part of “FM & AM.” I can’t embed the video, but I can link you to it. You can listen to the entire album, and you should, it is fantastic.

This link takes you to the first part of “Toledo Window Box.” Again… no embedding, but I can link you to it. Listen to the whole thing, it too is fantastic.

But I can give you a few of my favourite bits.

Carlin’s Revised 10 Commandments:

And I can’t do this post without posting…

The comedy world, and indeed the world itself is saddened by his unfortunate passing. He will be missed.

DEATH!

In case anyone out there cares, and has been living underneath a rock for the past two days, Toshiba has officially announced that they are discontinuing production on all HD-DVD players and other related media. What does this mean? In the great HD format war, Sony’s Blu-ray has emerged victorious. And all that money you spent on HD DVD, well, you’re gonna have to spend it again on Blu-Ray. Read the full article here.

What does this really mean for all you HD-DVD fans out there? Well, technically nothing really. After March there will be no more new releases in HD-DVD, so you will have to go Blu-Ray, and will have to get those players. But your HD-DVD player will still work, as will the discs you purchased. So you don’t need to go out and re-stock your HD movie collection right away.

This is good news for people like me. Where… once you look past the fact that I have absolutely no money to spend on a proper HD set up, let alone maintain the HD lifestyle, once you’re past that major obstacle… my primary reason for buying into HD movies yet is because I wanted to see a victor in the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray format war. Otherwise it would have been a waste for me to go with the losing format. So now that Blu-Ray is the winner, I can go back to not affording it.

Fool’s Gold and Other assortedness

Brodie Fanns!

I’ve got a review and other stuff for you. Let’s get started, shall we?

Fool’s Gold

1 star

What do you get when you take the mediocre Indiana Jones rip-off, Sahara, remove the sexy latina and Steve Zahn, and put the adorably perky Kate Hudson in their place? Well, you get solid gold shit. But no shortage of a shirtless Matthew McConaughey

Ben and Tess Finnegan (McConaughey and Hudson) are a bickering, brink of divorce couple that also has a passion for treasure salvaging. Then, amidst their divorce, Ben, who never quite grew up, found some clues indicating the location of a nearly 300 year old buried treasure. With the financial assistance of Tess’ new employer, Nigel Honeycutt (Donald Sutherland in a take off of the Hilton family, I suppose), they are able to start searching for the wreckage off a small Caribbean island. They only have to contend with Ben’s former investor, a deranged rapper who owns the island in question.

And then McConaughey takes his shirt off for a while.

I give it points for being a romantic comedy tangled with an adventure yarn, but that’s just a thin connection at best, as it contains not even the tiniest of fractions of thrills and excitement in other modern adventure flicks of it’s kind. Including National Treasure and the aforementioned Sahara.

I blame it on the lack of any real personae or charisma between the two leads. Separately, they have those things. But together… I don’t know, they were just vapid and hollow characters leading vapid and hollow lives. I didn’t care one way or another if they got the gold and got back together in the end. Spoiler alert. Everything you think happens in this movie, does happen. It’s almost like this could have been reworked as an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond and no one would have noticed. Except for the distinct lack of shirt removal thank god.

The jokes fell flat. Everybody’s talents were wasted on this film. Hudson and McConaughy both showed so much promise in Almost Famous and Dazed and Confused, respectively. But neither seem to have really caught on as far as actual talent goes. Maybe they should stick to artsy 70’s nostalgia flicks with kick ass soundtracks. That’s what they should do next. Maybe play Cher and Duane Allman.

Am I being fair to this film? Probably not. I don’t know. I rated Rambo a little higher because it delivered what it promised. But Fool’s Gold… it’s one thing to go into a movie with low expectations and have them exceeded. But it’s another to go in with low expectations and not even have them met.

Expect to see this in a few years with “Three Chances to Watch” on TBS or something.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Roy Scheider: 1932-2008. RIP

The star of Jaws and All That Jazz passed away on Saturday of multiple myeoma, a form of bone cancer. He was just 75 years old.

IN OTHER NEWS…

Actually, that’s about it for now.

Heath Ledger: 1979-2008

CNN is reporting that actor Heath Ledger, star of Brokeback Mountain, Lords of Dogtown, 10 Things I Hate About You and the upcoming The Dark Knight was found dead at 3:30 today in his New York City apartment.

It truly is a loss for the acting community, as Ledger was just coming into his own as one of the more talented, versatile, dynamic and fearless actors of his generation.

He will be missed.

Heath Ledger- R.I.P 1979-2008

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