Archive for October, 2010

Flixtream this! Special Halloween 2010 edition

October 31, 2010

Flixtream this! Special Halloween 2010 edition

You can get streaming Netflix in a lot of different ways: directly on a computer, through a Roku device, through a gaming system (Wii, XBOX 360, PS3), even through some TVs.  You can watch all the streaming stuff you want (and get 1 DVD at a time) for $8.99 a month.  I’m going to start recommending some things for you to watch…I call it Flixtreaming (for “NetFlix Streaming”).

Halloween and scary movies…for me, they go together “boo-tifully”.  😉  A lot of the classic costumes are based on those movies: the flat-headed Frankenstein’s monster (Jack Pierce’s brilliant design for Boris Karloff); the evening-dressed Dracula (Bela Lugosi); and the hairy-faced wolfman (Jack Pierce again, for Lon Chaney, Jr.). 

Other people extend beyond the Universal horror movies…Freddie Kreuger from A Nightmare on Elm Street; the shuffling zombies from Night of the Living Dead; and the sexy vamp Elvira.  Yes, TV can count, too.  🙂

Whether it’s keeping the kids entertained waiting for trick-or-treat time, or a party for adults, streaming Netflix makes it easy to get in the Halloween mood.  I’m going to make some suggestions…be careful, not all of them are good for all audiences. 

Dracula (1931)

This is the classic, the one that issued in the whole Universal horror cycle.  Bela Lugosi, who had starred in the stage hit, stars as Count Dracula…and yes, the action starts out in Transylvania.  Great lines (“I never drink…wine.”) and Dwight Frye as the maniac Renfield make this the must-see.  Is it hokey?  Sure…and what is that armadillo doing in a European castle?  Still, I would definitely put this on the list.

Frankenstein (1931)

Boris Karloff is brilliant in the largely non-verbal role of Frankenstein’s creation.  While he later would be associated with the role of the mad scientist, that honor belongs to Colin Clive in this James Whale-directed classic (he also directed Dracula, above).  Ken Strickfaden’s electrical work for Dr. Frankenstein’s lab has been imitated many times.

The Addams Family (1964…)

If you want one that will entertain the kids and adults alike, I’d recommend a marathon of the 1960s sitcom.   While “mysterious and spooky” to the outside world, this is actually a loving family.  While somewhat dated in its plots, its outsider mentality fits right into today.  If it had been a musical (well, it is now, but that’s not the same thing), it would have been great for Glee. 

Dark Shadows (1967…)

Prefer your vampires and werewolves as romantic leads?  Consider revisiting this 1960s soap opera with Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins and David Selby as the werewolf Quentin.  Just like with the Addams Family, there are enough episodes for you to watch all day.

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Not for kids!  It’s really the writing that makes this terrifying…although there is gore.  If you’ve never seen it, I’m not going to spoil anything.  Just be prepared for a difficult night’s sleep afterwards…if you sleep at all.

The Exorcist (1973)

This story of a possessed girl (Linda Blair) scared people in a way that movies really hadn’t done before.  Based on the best-selliing William Peter Blatty book (itself inspired by an actual event) this can be really disturbing, in ways beyond a quick scare.  Again, definitely not for kids.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Not for kids for a different reason.  🙂  This one may certainly be best in a group with a party atmosphere.  It’s a musical tribute to the Universal horror movies…but with a definite twist.  If you’ve ever seen this one, let me say…it’s a lot better on the second viewing.  Why?  There is a lot of foreshadowing.  Tim Curry deserved an Oscar nomination for this one…although that wasn’t going to happen.  🙂

Paranormal Activity (2009 wide release)

With the sequel in the theatres, this is a great opportunity to see the original.  It’s one of the most profitable movies of all time…but don’t think that means it looks cheap.  I was pleasantly surprised by it.  The strength is in Oren Pell’s directing and writing and Katie Featherston’s naturalistic performance.  It’s really creepy…very intense.

There are a few suggestions for you.  🙂  I could list a hundred more, but I’ll leave it up to you.  What movies and TV shows (available on streaming Netflix) do you recommend for Halloween?

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.

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“I would be a cynic…”

October 31, 2010

“I would be a cynic to say to say no…but I would be a fool to say yes.”
–The Shadow
The Shadow comic book DC 6-7/1975
writer Michael Uslan (?)

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Flash! Bob Keeshan reported dead

October 31, 2010

Flash! Bob Keeshan reported dead

It’s been a sad time for TV-watching Baby Boomers recently.

Not only did we lose Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver) and Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), we no longer have Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo).

From 1955 to 1984, Captain Kangaroo was a warm and wise (if somewhat bumbling) part of morning TV for kids.  Compared to Sesame Street, the show was glacially paced.  But that was part of the charm…the show was mellow. 

Yes, there were some cartoons…some of you will remember Tom Terrific, who could change shape, and Mighty Manfred (the slow-talking Wonder Dog).

There were puppet characters, even mischievous ones…but the fastest moving things on the show were the ping pong balls that would rain on to the Captain after one of Mr. Moose’s silly jokes.

He read us stories…Mike Mulligan and the Steam Shovel, Curious George…picture books.

I remember Bunny Rabbit, and Mr. Green Jeans, and Grandfather Clock.

While Bob Keeshan would return to the character of Captain Kangaroo over the years (including an appearance on Murphy Brown), it wasn’t his first role on an iconic kids’ TV show.  For years, he was Clarabelle the Clown on the Howdy Doody show.  As Clarabelle, he never spoke…until the very last episode of the show, when he said two words: “Good-bye, kids.”

Good-bye, Bob…and thank you for giving the nation a happier childhood.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“For the inventive spirt of man there is no…”

October 29, 2010

“For the inventive spirit of man there is no Utopia: there is only a Not-yet.  I have made up my mind to venture the path.  I must take it–yes, I must take it!  I do not know the way yet, but I shall find it because I must find it…”
–Freder Fredersen
Metropolis
written by Thea Von Harbou

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“I do not stand alone when…”

October 28, 2010

“I do not stand alone when I say that savagery came out of civilization and not civilization out of savagery.  It is only those who nothing of savages who maintain that civilization emerged from savagery.”
–James Churchward
writing in Lost Continent of Mu

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“The Air Force is either the world’s greatest…”

October 27, 2010

“The Air Force is either the world’s greatest collection of bungling incompetents or else they are engaged in a fantastic plot to censor the real truth about UFO’s.”
–Gabriel Green
president of the Amalgamated Flying Saucers of America
writing in Let’s Face the Facts about Flying Saucers

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“I’m supposed to answer all those questions about…”

October 26, 2010

“I’m supposed to answer all those questions about my favorite leading lady and my style.  Well, Princess Grace is a great girl and all shirts should (be) white and squared-off at the bottom, so you can wear them outside.  But I don’t know that I’ve got any style at all.  I just patterned myself on a combination of Jack Buchanan, Noel Coward, and Rex Harrison.  I pretended to be somebody I wanted to be, and I finally became that person.  Or he became me.  Or we just met at some point.”
–Cary Grant
quoted in the SF Examiner, May 3, 1981

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“You’re a criminal…”

October 25, 2010

“You’re a criminal  You hate the law and live and live happily without it.  You are a law unto yourself and the most honest man in the galaxy.  You can’t break any rules since you make them up yourself and change them whenever you see fit.”
–James Bolivar (Slippery Jim) Digriz
The Stainless Steel Rat
written by Harry Harrison

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

Hollywood Star Whackers

October 23, 2010

Hollwyood Star Whackers

Oh, Randy Quaid

You’ve always been memorable in the movies, but lately, your real life has been making more headlines. 

There’s been a chain of events leading to the latest situation.  The Quaids (Randy and Evi) were charged with vandalism, and there was a thing about them living in a house with…a disputed right to do that.  They now missed a hearing in the US (apparently they’ve said they thought the warrants were a mistake), and were arrested in Vancouver.

They say they weren’t avoiding the hearing or the warrants and were in Canada partially for Randy to get an award.

Okay so far, right?

The Quaids have asked for asylum from Canada because their lives are in danger in the USA.  They said they are concerned because eight friend of Randy’s have been mysteriously murdered…and apparently, that included Heath Ledger (Randy worked with Heath in Brokeback Mountain) and David Carradine (they worked together in the Long Riders and Bound for Glory).

Both star deaths generated a lot of speculation, both about suicide and foul play.

According to this

AP report

Brian Tsuji, the Quaids lawyer, read a one line statement to the media:

“We are requesting asylum from Hollywood star whackers.”

For those of you still looking a Halloween costume, may I suggest a t-shirt that reads, “Hollywood Star Whacker”?

I obviously don’t know if there are Hollywood Star Whackers or not…and it would be an amazing story either way.  Unless this is all just JoaPhoe (I’m coining that right now…pronounced “Hwafee”, and meaning an elaborate hoax a la Joaquin Phoenix), it’s going to make a remarkable movie at some point.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.

“I think the only reality is…”

October 23, 2010

“I think the only reality is number…and music, which comes to the same thing. They are both real and they both have power.”
–Calpurnia
Our Lady of Darkness
written by Fritz Leiber

This is one in a series of quotations.

I’ve been working, from time to time, on a book of quotations for many years.  I call it, “The Mind Boggles”, from one of my favorite quotations.  I do source quotations a bit differently from a lot of people.  In the case of a work of a fiction, I consider that the character said the line…not the author.  As a bit of an author myself (in a minor way), I can tell you…my characters definitely say things that I would never say.  These are all quotations that I’ve collected myself: I’ve read the book, seen the TV episode, and so on.

Hope you enjoy them!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.


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