Take A Good Look Coming to DVD in October

Take A Good Look DVD Ooh, this one’s been a long time coming, but if you like to laugh it up significantly and like old TV (or hey, just want to see something more fun than the usual modern reality junk), well here you go. Okay, so you have to wait until October, but that’s not too far away, right? Right.

Ernie Kovacs: Take A Good Look – The Definitive Collection is now up for pre-order on Shout Factory with the first 1000 copies getting an exclusive bonus disc, Ernie Kovacs: Private Eye, Private Eye. If you’re new to Kovac’s work, you’re in for a real treat. The man did so much to elevate comedy that it’s astounding he only did about ten years worth of work before his untimely death in 1962.

Hmmm… I smell a short press release… it’s minty!
 

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Take A Good Look – The Definitive Collection is now set for release on October 17! This DVD set is the third box set of Ernie Kovacs amazing body of television work (1952 -1962) to be released over the better part of this decade. All 49 existing episodes of Kovacs cockeyed and offbeat gameshow are presented here, fully restored and digitized by the Library of Congress.

Take A Good Look hosted an eclectic mix of guest stars, such as my mom (!), performer Edie Adams, writer/director Carl Reiner, the glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabor, comedian Mort Sahl, Our Gang’s Jean Darling, chess world champion Bobby Fischer, Major League Baseball’s Rogers Hornsby, White House Butler Alonzo Fields, Los Angeles Dodgers Chuck Essegian and Don Drysdale, Hawaiian Congressman Daniel Inouye, Miss America 1959 Mary Ann Mobley, several Olympic athletes, and many mor

-GW

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Goodbye, Mr. Warmth

(Thanks, paratrip!)
 

I don’t remember the first time I saw the late, great Don Rickles on TV, but if it was a comedic appearance, I laughed my ass off. I think it was one of his appearances on an episode of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast from 1974, but I think it may have been a few years earlier thanks to X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes airing on what I think was WPIX’ late, great Chiller Theater. Anyway, Don was the master of perfectly timed insults, the Prince of the Putdown, The Man You Went To See When You Needed To Be Taken Down A Few Notches And Wanted To Pay For The Privilege Of Being Insulted By The Best. Period. That sort of insult comedy was a great deal bigger back when Rickles was playing the circuit, when people were less triggered and more willing to laugh at themselves thanks to a man who could peg you with zingers, moving onto the next lucky or unlucky sap who dared to sit too close to the stage. Don made it work because you knew he was a total pussycat off stage, but once he got up to perform, all bets were off and if he singled you out, you’d better be prepared for the worst with an entire room full of people laughing at you.

(Thanks, ann turkel!)
 

Watching him in these old clips still makes me laugh loudly and that’s the best medicine for pretty much anything that ails you. I recall working for a guy many moons ago who was a bit of a stingy sourpuss, yet he paid good money to see Don live a few times around the country. Let me tell you, his mood was so much lighter after he returned that he was quite the nicest guy on the planet for a few days. I got a random raise once after one of his trips to see Rickles perform, apparently thanks to an ugly tie I’d given him as a birthday gift and a guy and his wife seated next to him who wanted to switch seats at the last minute. So I own an indirect thanks to the funnyman for getting me more money at one point in my life. Thanks, Don, er… Mr. Rickles. I’d probably not know what to say to the man if I ran into him at Patsy’s here in NYC, but I understand that he was pretty good with fans who approached him. Off stage, he was still a big prankster with his close friends, but treated regular folk just right.

(Thanks, KUSH Comedy!)
 

Now, you probably don’t need to buy both seasons of CPO Sharkey on DVD if you need a Rickles fix (although you should, as it was quite a hilariously wacky show for the era. My suggestion is to grab a copy of the 2007 documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project for a nice and hilarious look at the man at work. Yes, he also did a few dramatic performances and of course, younger folks will remember him as the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies. I’ll stop here because I need some laughs, and Don would probably give me one of those looks and lay into me something fierce for trying to be too damn sentimental.

-GW

Sporty Sport Sport Stuff, Humor Edition

tomjump0 
Nope, I did not watch the big bootfall game last night (ask me about the NFL and you get this as a response), but seeing a GIF on Twitter of Goo Gaga leaping at some point last night took me right out of my bad mood and made me laugh for a good few minutes straight. Gal’s got more balls than both teams combined on and off the field.

tomjump1 
Clearly, the Lady herself must have been thinking of A few of the Mission Impossible movies as inspiration, or that’s my excuse for her acrobatics that came off better live than some movie stunts with overworked CG artists trying too hard over-exaggerating action in that way that never quite looks right.

tomjump2 
I ended up watching the whole routine later and being surprised it worked as well as it did. I’m not sure what Tom Cruise was doing last night, but I’d bet if he were near a TV, he was either grinning like crazy or going crazy because Gaga’s act will be the one talked about until he decides to jump off another building in whatever he works on next. J.J. Abrams’ phone was probably ringing off the hook before the halftime show was half done.

Back in a bit – been nursing some gloom for a bit, but I think I got some mojo back…

-GW

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Star Trek TV Series Teaser: That NEW Final Frontier, A Minus For Those Who Can’t Stream


 

Um, Warp Factor ZERO on CBS for what seems to be a great idea on one hand, but a LOUSY one for people who don’t like to or can’t stream content to their homes. Apparently, the premiere episode will indeed be shown on your local CBS affiliate here in the U.S. of A., but after that, the show will ONLY going to appear as a part of CBS All Access, a paid channel similar to HBO GO. Ugh. As you can imagine, some are quite cranky about this. Me, I kind of hope the realization that the MORE people who can watch this show from the get-go means it finds an audience WITHOUT piracy to get more people watching than actually paying to see this. Yeah, yeah, I know the excuses for the pro-piracy crowd and how that activity can drive up viewership in some cases.

But in this particular case? I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and get more money from people just because you have a hot new show and a showrunner who’s done great things in the past. For many who want to see this legally and on what they already use, they may all be singing this little ditty (just roll with it. I know full well the old crew isn’t in this new show!):

(Thanks, Chris Carothers!) 

That and I’d bet Gene Roddenberry would want his stellar trekking vision free to all interested parties within eyesight of ANY sort of viewing device. Then again, the teaser promising among other things, “New Villains” along with that slow-motion planet cracking stuff may mean (SPECULATION ALERT!) that the new Trek will be more action-oriented for the shorter, easily bored attention spans these days.

I sure hope the hell not, though.

GW

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Call of the Westeros Meets Classic Response Time

So, this season of Game of Thrones ended with a bang. Well, a few bangs if you count the graceful exit one key character made via a nearby window. The internet being what it is, one still frame ended up as a hilarious image gamers who know Ubisoft’s hugely popular Assassin’s Creed series got a laugh over:

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It took me all of thirty seconds for my brain to cook up goofball responses to that scene using classic film posters, but a little longer to swipe images I’ll link to to be fair to the folks who posted them first. Traffic is cool on one’s blog when it’s least expected, I always say. Okay, here we go (click on the posters to go to their respective sites):

Hit the Hay

I’ve never seen this flick before, but I’m now Judy Canova curious. I know I’ve seen HER before in something, but I’ve not a clue as to what.

It Ain't Hay

Ooh, a new site to check out! Nice place you’ve got there, Steve! Haven’t seen this one in decades, but it’s probably as funny as I recall.

crash-dive

A not too shabby WWII war drama/romance flick with a fine cast doing their thing for the cause. Oscar-winning special effects here, but don’t go into this looking for CG perfection.


 


 

Finally, yeah… I may as well get Fox some love as well for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie. As with any game-based film, my eyebrow is up a lot on whether it can capture the game’s more interactive elements clearly. But I absolutely LOVE being proven wrong by movies based on videogame source material. Which means I’m still skeptical even with the casting choices made. We’ll get into that later. Just go enjoy the rest of this weekend for now.

George Crumb: Voice of the Whale – Soul Music of A Different Sort

And now, ladies and germs… it’s time for a little dose of culture for today:

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“I feel intuitively that music must have been the first cell from which language, science, and religion originated.” – George Crumb

George Crumb: Voice Of The Whale
coming to DVD on June 24th (MSRP: $19.99)

 

Robert Mugge’s 1976 portrait of renowned composer George Crumb featuring a performance of his composition “Vox Balaenae”

In 1976, “music filmmaker” Robert Mugge created his first music-related film. Titled GEORGE CRUMB: VOICE OF THE WHALE, it was a strikingly original, 54-minute portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy-winning composer George Crumb.

To celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary (it was first broadcast over PBS on June 6, 1978), MVD Visual is making available a newly remastered version on DVD, transferred to HD from the original 16mm film and lovingly restored. Now that you’re curious, go click this link to see a tiny bit of the film and if you like what you see, go order away at your leisure. Or faster than that if you prefer.

The Exorcist, A TV Series? The Power of “Cripes” Compels You

So join me for a drink boys
We’re gonna make a big noise

So don’t worry about tomorrow
Take it today
Forget about the check
We’ll get hell to pay

 

According to a few sources including the director himself, William Friedkin fired blanks off-camera into the air in order to get an actor to react with fright during a key moment in The Exorcist. I’m betting the 1936 penny sitting mysteriously atop my too-small entertainment center (seriously, it just appeared one day and I have NO clue as to how it got there!) that Friedkin maybe shot a computing device of some sort when he found out Fox as making a series based (kind of?) on the classic horror film that freaked out millions back in 1973 and is still influential to this very day.

(Thanks, Movieclips!)

Me? I had NO idea this was a thing until the always on point Written in Blood pointed out that trailer above. The power of crap compelled my jaw to drop because WHY? There’s really no use or need for a modern take on The Exorcist because the film did what it did so well and is still an effective horror film to this day. Like the upcoming Lethal Weapon TV series (yeah, WHY?), this trend to dig up otherwise fine and dandy entertainment and drag it kicking and screaming into this decade’s short attention span theater audience that will drop a new show they don’t like like a hot rock after one or two episodes. My reaction to that trailer above was somewhat NSFW, and went something like this:

(Thanks again, Movieclips!)

Don’t believe me? Well, how’s that Rush Hour TV series doing, ladies and gents? Uh-huh. Sure, there are a bunch of devil shows on the air already and Fox does have a “hit” with Lucifer, which I’ve yet to see because I’m not at all interested in it. But I just can’t see The Exorcist being a series with legs once the story the film tells (now rewritten for TV) plays itself out. Well, unless it turns into some sort of possession anthology series with a demon of the week (ugh), which would kill off the scare factor faster than a vampire eating a loaf of garlic bread as the sun rose.

Meh, maybe I’m too cranky and wrong on this… but I don’t think so. If this show ends up being a surprise hit like Bates Motel and goes on for a few seasons, I’ll look into making my own deal with the devil. Oh, don’t worry about me, folks… I know how to trick Old Scratch into letting me keep my soul:

(Thanks, lilacwine85!)

It’s a good thing I can bake a little is all I’m saying…

The WOL Project: Your Climactic Cinematic Rabbit Hole Trip Begins Here


 

You know how you sometimes or often go to look something up on the internet and stumble across something NOT at all what you wanted to find that sucks away what was supposed to be otherwise productive time? Well, to quote the (not so) immortal Frank Booth: THIS IS IT. No not that extended clip, from a film that absolutely needs to get the treatment from The WOL Project. There’s an excellent mix of mostly movies with a handful of TV shows that benefit from the addition of Dire Straits’ 1985 hit Walk of Life.

All of the clips chosen are fantastic and it’s hard to choose a favorite, but here’s a pair of videos from the WOL YouTube Channel (go subscribe!)

Coppola’s The Conversation is one of my favorite 70’s films and that DS tune at the end adds some sly humor to the somber finale. As for Kubrick’s apocalyptic comedy classic Dr Stranglove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb? Well… see for yourself:

Perfect. Anyway, go boogie on over and spend too much time spoiling the finales of 50 films and shows (most of which you should have already seen or have at least bucket-listed at some point in your cinematic life). I can think of a few hundred more films that need this song added to their endings, so let’s hope this project doesn’t stop at a mere 50 entries.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice TV Spots: Capes & Jaw-Juts on the Menu for March

And so, it begins. By the time Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters in March, I fully expect to see no fewer than 25 or so of these 30-second (or longer) TV spots that still won’t give away all of the film’s “surprises”. I’m at the stage where these comic book blockbusters don’t surprise me much if at all because both DC and Marvel traffic heavily in killing any actual suspense these films bring thanks to wanting to keep as many main and some supporting characters around as possible as a means of generating income. Alternate universe stories aside, they can’t “kill” off a *major* character anymore (without replacing him or her) because they’d be removing a slice of that easy revenue stream fans pony up on a regular basis.

That said, collateral damage seems to me more than okay in these flicks. In English: you sure can lay waste to cities great and small, killing thousands or even millions of civilians as a plot pushing element. “Dead” superheroes get to come back to life at some point, but dead normal folks stay dead long after the rubble has been cleaned up. I suppose there’s a moral here, but I’m too lazy to look for one today.

The QFX VP-113 Gets It Done With A Retro Touch

VP-113

Thanks to a friend sending me a few PAL format DVD’s earlier this year and my old laptop’s universal media player dying with the old laptop, I needed an inexpensive player of decent quality I could keep next to the console setup that wouldn’t take up a load of room and was a multi-tasker of some sort. While poking around at a few options (there’s a nice Samsung player under $30 that was my initial choice), I stumbled across the QFX VP-113, a budget DVD player that only caught my eye because it not only played DVD, VCD, SVCD, CD, CD-R, and CD-RW formats, it also had a built-in karaoke function, a USB stick reader and much to my surprise, played “games” of some sort. What sort of games, I had zero idea. But the price was right (under $35 where I found it) and my curious collector side was curious about those GAMES. Because, you know that’s what I like (and like writing about). Continue reading