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Showing posts from June, 2012

The Last Man On Earth

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt Youngstown, Ohio.....
I figured that since I did a Movie Note or two on The Last Woman On Earth, the least I could do, in the interest of fairness (something Republicans know very little about, if you believe much of what passes for news on MSNBC), was to write a little something about The Last Man On Earth. A 1964 black and white offering starring Vincent Price out of the public domain, I caught up to The Last Man On Earth via my beloved ROKU box on The Movie Vault. Barely longer than an hour, but crammed full of story and progeny. The story is straight forward—bad bugs infect the Earth's population, killing off just about everyone. The survivors are turned into vampires, except for the one lone human—Vincent Price. Turns out that he's immune due to an old bat bite. And he spends his days preparing for the vampires to come a-calling each night. If this sounds a little familiar, it should. Same story in 1971s The Omega Man (Charleston Heston) an…

Your Real Horoscope

Aquarius - January 20 to February 18 You have an inventive mind and are inclined to be progressive. You lie a great deal. You make the same mistakes repeatedly because you are stupid. Everyone thinks you're a  jerk.
Pisces - February 19 to March 20 You have a vivid imagination and often think you are being followed by the FBI or the CIA. You have minor influence on your friends and people resent you for flaunting your power. You lack confidence and are a general dipshit.
Aries - March 21 to April 19 You are the pioneer type and think most people are dickheads. You are quick tempered, impatient, and scornful of advice. You are a prick.
Taurus - April 20 to May 20 You are practical and persistent. You have dogged determination and work like hell. Most people think you are stubborn and bullheaded. You are nothing but a goddamn Communist.
Gemini - May 21 to June 20 You are a quick and intelligent thinker. People like you because you are bisexual. You are inclined to expect too much for too little. T…

The Last Woman On Earth

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt..... Youngstown, Ohio
The Last Woman On Earth is a movie. No, I don't mean an “A” movie. Actually I don't mean a “B” movie either. It's a different sorta movie.....A Roger Corman Movie. From 1960. In glorious black and white. I caught this public domain movie on PubDHub streaming through my beloved ROKU box, but you can also buy a copy on DVD if you want, and then you'll get a DVD cover emblazoned with the full color graphic seen here. 'Course, the graphic has nothing to do with the movie—well, there's no nudity or partial nudity of the female lead, and there's no knife fight between the men. Still, a very cool DVD cover. The picture of the trio is from this movie—in other words, what these actors REALLY looked like.
The movie opens with a Puerto Rican Cock Fight-----Oh for Pete's sake, not THAT sort of Cock Fight. The kind with chickens. Looks to be a real Cock Fight, too, if you know what I mean. How can a R…

Deception (AKA Ruby Cairo)

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
How a movie that starts out with the final out of the final game of the 1960 World Series, features Andie MacDowell, Liam Neeson, and Viggo Mortenson, then is filmed on location in Athens, Berlin, Cairo, Veracruz, and, um...El Lay, could suck this badly is impossible for me to describe adequately...........but it did.
I caught this 1993 hour and a half disaster on Netflix. It goes by two names. Not a bad idea for most criminals, and this movie fits the bill. You can call it Deception, or you can call it Ruby Cairo, but I call it dung on a stick.
Can't really say what the story was—seems Viggo is a thief or an arms dealer or something and fakes his own death, and then his wife (Andie) tracks him down through several countries while falling in love with Liam. Then there's a fiesta and a game of street baseball. Fade to black.....show the credits.
The high points are Andie MacDowell showering—no, you don't get to see …

Hanger 18

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It's over 90 degrees American here in Northeast Ohio. That's only 35 degrees European, but I couldn't care less about the European ways of doing things. What's a Euro anyhow? They don't seem to know in Greece either, so you're forgiven.
Oh, and it's muggy. Too miserable to go outside, too miserable to do anything that takes any real effort too, and that can only mean one thing.....
Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
Had a look-see at a 1980 movie titled Hanger 18 this afternoon, courtesy of Netflix. Not an excessive amount of story here, and plenty of action. A straight sci-fi offering of the time, complete with corrupt politicians, heroic NASA pilots, and a moral ending. We got space aliens who happen to look a lot like us, and, as luck would have it, their ancestors fathered our ancestors by co-mingling their essential juices with the tribal women-folk oh, those many years ago.
We have a space-walk decapitation in the opening sequ…

Justice

Roger Clemons was acquitted.  John Edwards was acquitted.  A 7 year investigation into Barry Bonds yielded a single count of obstruction of justice (the rough equivalent of spitting on the sidewalk).  Fast and Furious was a disaster.

Can the Justice Department now quit this farting around and get back to chasing terrorists?

Or at least try to act concerned about justice as a concept?

The News

I was watching a little bit of news this morning—Always a bad idea on a slow news day. So here's the story I saw on FoxNews:
Mayor Bloomberg of New York City is proposing a ban on large sodas—Anything over 16 ounces will be banned—for our own good, of course, because we consume WAAAAAY too much sugar. At least that's what was originally proposed. Now the proposal also includes other consumables—like extra large popcorn.
I don't know for sure, but I think that open-toed shoes are at least as dangerous as popcorn and should also be banned. But only in New York City.
Then I also saw Jesse Ventura being interviewed on CNN last night. Look, I don't pay a great amount of attention to Minnesota generally, and the esteemed former governor specifically, but tell me this please—Was he always a nut-bag, or is he just in desperate need of some attention?

Harper's Island

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I may have mentioned that my wife is away. Leaves me with time on my hands, and you probably know by now what that means.....
Television Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio
Over the past two days I watched Harper's Island in it's entirety. All 13 one hour episodes.
This one season adventure was listed on Netflix as a murder mystery/thriller set on an island off the Washington coast. After watching a couple of episodes, it became clear that there were to be lots of girls in underwear, grisly murders of every possible stripe, plenty of 20-somethings making out, and it was all set in groovy happenin' Pacific Northwest. Conspicuous by it's absence, however, was any reference to Starbucks or Grunge music. I guess that's because it was really filmed in Canada, and the Canadians are far too polite to like either of those two offspring of Seattle. The only bit of pop culture that seems to have been omitted was, thankfully, vampires.
The writers and bra…

A Summer Drive in Ohio

Here's the way it all started: My Bride is on vacation on the West Coast of These United States, and I've got a day off with no plans. So I decided to go to Cuyahoga Falls. The long way. You know, see the sights on this glorious (and rare) sunny Ohio summer day. Get a look at the Amish and Mennonite farms along the way. Look at the cows in their pastures and the corn in the fields.
So I did.
But before I could get out of the Youngstown area, I was driving along a two lane roadway in the Cornersburg area. Two lanes. I was going 35 in a 35 zone. I don't know why. I'm just like that. 35 in a 35 sounds right and proper to me. In my rear view mirror, I see a silver blur approaching at an alarming rate of speed. Frankly, I had nowhere to go, and there was nothing could I do, so I just waited for the impact. At the last possible moment, the sliver blur panic-braked, missing the back of my car by mere inches, nose dipping precipitiously. He tail-gated me at …

Wings--Television Done Right

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Television Notes from the Rust Belt.....

Youngstown, Ohio

I thought it would last forever. I never anticipated that it would end like the other times, leaving my heart broken and so very, very alone. This was the one that would stand the test of time. It will never end.
8 years. 149 episodes of Joe, Helen, Brian, Lowell, Antonio, Fay, Casey and Roy. Gone now. Just like Scully and Mulder, James T. Kirk, Ezekiel Stone, and the WKRP crew. Forever living in my memory, but no longer on the small screen. I can watch them again (and I will) but it’s not the same as the first time.
On the other hand, Netflix beckons with the promise of something permanent. Lasting.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll try again, and wait for the inevitable hopeless feeling of loss at the end of the road.
But the ride is always worth it.
In all seriousness though—A TV series that you really like is unique. It’s populated with people who you invite into your home and into your life on a regular basis. Characters, to be s…

Night Fright

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio


On The Movie Vault today we got a glimpse into 1967 central Texas with Night Fright, a 75 minute B-movie masterpiece.  Most of the cast played in this single movie, never to be seen or heard of again, but it starred John Agar as the Sheriff--he acted from 1948 until his death in 2002, was married briefly to Shirley Temple, and played in Fort Apache and The Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne.  It certainly must have pained him to have this little movie in his kit bag.  Also featured here is long time character actor Bill Thurman, playing the Deputy Sheriff who gets killed by the creature.  He’s got one of those faces that you just KNOW you’ve seen before, but can’t quite place.  Brenda Venus plays Sue.  She wrote a column for several years in Playboy magazine, a couple of books on the art of seduction, and acted in The Eiger Sanction with Clint Eastwood.

Not very much plot to get in the way of the story here--Animal was sent into sp…

The NFL Lawsuit

I see that 2000 former NFL players have filed suit against the NFL because they were (allegedly) permanently injured as a result of their playing football.  And the NFL knew all about it but did nothing.

OK, I get it.  You guys played football, a known risky behavior, for millions of dollars, and now you have decided to sue to squeeze out a few more dollars.

I’m not a fan of professional football, so I have no dog in this fight, but if you are a fan, you need to be very afraid of this lawsuit.

No problem, I’ll spell it out for you:  This is how it started with tobacco.  People who engaged in known risky behavior (inhaling tobacco smoke) and paid the price for their actions, successfully sued and legislated tobacco companies out of business.

It took a while, but it worked.

If this NFL lawsuit is successful, the NFL (and, by association of risky behavior, the NHL, too, I betcha) is finished.

Hot Rod Girl

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It’s a rainy afternoon here in Northeast Ohio, and that can only mean one thing.....

Movie Notes from the Rust Belt
Youngstown, Ohio

On The Movie Vault, I caught up with Hot Rod Girl, a 1956 opus about the dangers of hot-rodding in San Fernando.

We got Chuck Connors before he was The Rifleman as a plain clothes policeman with a heart of gold and the soul of a hot-rodder.  We got Frank Gorshin, a native of Pittsburgh, PA, who eventually hit the big time as The Riddler in the Batman Series from the 60s as Flat-Top.  Russell Thorson plays the police Captain and The Rifleman’s superior officer--Mr. Thorson would later be one of the hanging party who hung Clint Eastwood in Hang ‘Em High--pity.  And, we got a blond in a 1955 T-Bird played by Lori Nelson (who’s still making movies as late as 2005s The Naked Monster.

Lori Nelson was originally supposed to drive a sports car, but the movie maker ran out of money, and she willingly drove her own new T-Bird--What a sport, no?

Lots of great dr…

Assassin of Youth

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....
Youngstown, Ohio

OK then--in 1915, the Supreme Court of the United States held (Mutual Film Corporation v. Industrial Commission of Ohio) that free speech rights did not extend to motion pictures.  This decision was in effect, and was the law of the land, until it was overturned by that same body in 1952 (Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson).

As a practical matter, then, government could censor the content of motion pictures during that time period.  And they did.  With a variety of government entities prohibiting this and that, in a typical American patchwork of idiocy.

The so-called Hays Code was enacted by the motion picture people in Hollywood as a self-regulating set of guidelines to answer the moral and ethical questions of “talkie” motion pictures of the 20s and 30s.  Interestingly, this was during the same time period that baseball became self-regulating with the appointment of Kenesaw Mountain Landis as baseball commissioner after the Black Sox …

It Came From Outer Space

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....

Youngstown, Ohio

Here’s a dandy film from the early 50s--It Came From Outer Space, starring a host of early 50s regulars, including Russell Johnson as George.  You know him better as The Professor from Gilligan’s Island.  OK, maybe you don’t, but that’s how I remember him.  The female lead is played by a hottie named Barbara Rush who worked regularly in just about every TV program you ever saw from 1950 right through 7th Heaven in 2007.

The movie was originally released in 3-D.  Now it’s merely 2-D, but that’s more than OK when you see it, as I did, through the magic of Amazon Prime in high definition.

In a nutshell, spacecraft of alien origin crash lands in the Arizona desert, witnessed by an amateur astrologer (ain’t that always the way?) who investigates the crash scene with the help of a helicopter pilot.  And a helicopter.  Alien gets away and townspeople don’t believe in aliens.  But they will.  When they begin to be replaced by aliens.  The…

GECRB

I see that I’m now paying the JC Penney bill to (at their insistence) “GECRB”.  What this tortured acronym stands for is anybody’s guess.  Call me old fashioned, but when I’ve done my shopping at JC Penney, and put my purchase on a charge plate (now THERE’s an antiquated concept) emblazoned with the JC Penney name and logo, I sort of expect to write a check to JC Penney.

GECRB?

Battle Beyond The Sun

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt.....

Youngstown, Ohio

Another bout of insomnia and the net result is another public domain movie courtesy of Pub-D-Hub, one of my favorite TV channels.  You can always check them out at pubdhub.info, then have a look on your HD TV through your ROKU box.  Yeah.....cable is so last week.

Battle Beyond The Sun  is an American International Film--In this case, that means that this is a Russian Movie (originally titled “Nebo Zovit”--I know, I know, what’s that mean to your average American?  It translates to “The Sky Is Calling”, more or less, but in part I’m guessing here), purchased by one of our favorites here at Movie Notes, none other than Roger Corman.  The original movie was about 2 hours long and made in 1960.  Roger got his hands on it somewhere around 1962, hired a relatively unknown film school student named, ahem, Francis Ford Coppola to Americanize it and get it all dubbed up, then re-released it as Battle Beyond The Sun, barely longer than an h…