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Showing posts from 2013

The White Gorilla--1945

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It’s Christmas Eve, and it’s snowing--absolutely beautiful, I tell you.  Oh, and it’s 19 degrees, the temperature is falling, and then there’s the wind chill.  I have a couple of hours on my hands before My Bride and I head off to an open house, and this can only mean one thing....

Movie Notes From the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio

Our feature today, courtesy of PubDHub.info, my beloved ROKU box, the Internet and my secure, wireless home network, and that dandy 46 inch High Definition Wide Screen is that 1945 jungle thriller, The White Gorilla.

Seems that one gorilla was born white and was cast out by the black gorillas, making him an ornery cuss.  A renegade, if you will.  He’s white and he’s pissed.  Quite a take on the white/black black/white issue considering that this is 1945, dontcha think?

Sorry, but that’s about it.  Absolutely no story to get in the way of the jungle animal scenes, filler material re-used from a silent 1927 serial called Perils of the Jungle, the occasional gli…

The Walking Dead--Seasons 1, 2, & 3

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I may have mentioned that I’m a driving instructor here in NorthEast Ohio.  Maybe not.  Regardless, I am. A driving instructor, that is.  This means that I spend my days in a car, one-on-one, with teen-agers, somewhere around 8 hours a day.  We HAVE to talk about something.

The cool kids in this neck of the woods pretty much all watch The Walking Dead.  So, when it became available on Netflix, I took it for a spin.  I can now talk with knowledge about The Walking Dead.  The initial offering on Netflix was the first three seasons--short seasons to be sure, but still.....This can only result in one thing, and I apologize in advance..........

Television Notes From the Rust Belt.....Youngstown, Ohio.

Without belaboring the point, this mess is a real crap-fest.  It gets dumber by the episode.  In short, a colossal waste of time.  No kidding.

The Walking Dead, in it’s entirety, is based on a comic book.  Like you were surprised.  And, it holds the number one spot in the ratings for that elu…

The Norelco 6955XL

Briefly--I bought a new Norelco model #6955XL triple header from the Amazon web site for a paltry 35 bucks American.  For reference purposes, I consulted the inflation calculator again and found that my current 35 bucks American was worth $5.49 in 1968.  I only made a dollar and a quarter an hour at the gas station I worked at then, but still.....The overall price of a Norelco rotary head shaver has declined and the shave is better.  A good deal for me.

When I joined the Army in 1968, I was paid a gross sum of $102.00 a month (that’s equal to $650 today)--currently, an Army private gets $1467.00--But on payday, I only saw about 80 dollars.  I guess the rest of it went to taxes or something.  Payday in the Army was the first of the month.  We stood in line and saluted the Pay Officer (who was also the Executive Officer of the company), and recited “Sir, Private Young reports for pay”.  Unless your name wasn't Young.  Whereupon we were paid in cash.

Cash.

American currency and coin.

Norelco Shavers and Inflation

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I’ve been using Norelco rotary head shavers for most of my life.  Of course, when I started shaving, I used a double edged blade like most others of my ilk.  I started shaving in the early 1960‘s, so that will sort of give you a time-stamp reference.  I did discover, however, that I really carved myself up with a blade, so I made the switch to electric.

The hot deal when I was a teen-ager was Norelco rotary head shavers, so that was the ticket for me.  I had a job and income, so I bought one in 1967.  A dual head shaver.  It had a flip-top for ease of cleaning, a handy pouch to carry it around, and it was battery operated.  It used 4 penlight batteries.

What??  Never heard of a penlight battery?  No idea at all?  OK then, we’ll talk batteries for a little while.  “Flashlight batteries” were what we called flashlight batteries back then.  In today’sworld, the cool kids call them “D” cells.  Smaller batteries were called “penlight” batteries, and that’s what you asked for at the Weste…

The National League West--and Money

Money=Happiness.  At least some of the time.

The Billionaire Boy’s Club in El Lay (AKA the Los Angeles Dodgers) seems to have an unlimited budget.  In the last off-season they purchased every available quality free agent in baseball.  They have the biggest payroll in baseball, outstripping even the Yankees.

Wow.  More than the Yankees.  Unbelievable.

Not only that, they have enough money to sign other quality baseball players and warehouse them in their minor league system to prevent any other team from signing them.  What a great deal.

I’m a fan of the San Francisco Giants.  Have been since they moved West from New York in 1958.  I’m happy that they managed to win a pair of world titles (nearly back-to-back) before the Dodgers opened their bottomless checkbook.  Grateful actually.  But I fear that their winning run is over.  Money+El Lay=Disaster for any team in the National League West other than the Billionaire Boy’s Club for the foreseeable future.  It’s simple arithmetic.

They …

Medical Device Advertising

I watch my share of Fox News.  Other news, too, mostly because I want to see what the other side is ranting about (it usually has something to do with white guys over the age of majority,who are pretty much universally despised)--TV news has replaced print media in my world. No more newspapers in the house.....nor have I renewed my subscriptions to news magazines.

This means that I’m subjected to/hammered with commercials for prescription medicines and medical devices.

What fun.

Catheters.  Pre-lubed or pocket sized?  You make the call.  Medicare or medicaid will pay.  Just go see your doctor.  No problem.

Hoveround takes me where I want to go.  The cost will be covered by medicare, I guess.

But what really gets me are the commercials that tout the benefits of prescription medicines and encourages you to go to the doctor and insist on some.  It can’t be much longer until we see commercials for pot.  It’s medicine, you see.  Some people say that drinking urine has medicinal properties.…

The Ice Harvest

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No question about it.  When I have time on my hands, I watch an absolute crap-load of movies on television.  Not really “television” movies, although I have nothing against them as a genre.  I’m just not that sophisticated.  Plus, like I have frequently said, I’m not a critic.....I’m a fan.

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

On Netflix, via my ROKU box delivered through the wireless home network into the 46 inch high definition wide screen Vizio (I may not have mentioned this before, but this is a “smart” TV--probably smarter than me in many respects), I watched a modern dark comedy drama thriller film noir from 2005 starring John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton, and Oliver Platt called The Ice Harvest.

Dandy story here--way too much plot to run down here, but suffice it to say that if you liked movies like Get Shorty, Fargo, The Whole 9 Yards, and Pulp Fiction you’ll most likely like this one too.  If you like books like The Four Corners of Night by Craig Holden you migh…

Life--The Television Series (2007-2009)

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My bride departed last week for the Left Coast to visit with some of the children and grandchildren and, I suppose, being it’s the Left Coast and all, commune with nature and eat some multi-grain breads.  In any event, this leaves me with a little time on my hands when I’m not working, and we all know, by this time, what that means.....

Television Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio

Over the past three days, I watched the entire 32 episode run of Life, originally aired on NBC from 2007 to 2009.  I viewed this fantastic series in it’s entirety on the 46 inch high definition wide screen Vizio, streamed through my beloved ROKU box.  All courtesy of my wireless home network, which, at least for the time being, is functioning flawlessly.

Life.  The setup is pretty straight forward.  A Los Angeles policeman is convicted of some murders that he didn't commit and is sent to Pelican Bay.  For 12 years.  Then he is exonerated via DNA evidence and is released.  With a cash settlement …

Teenagers Battle The Thing--1958

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Found myself with a bit of time on my hands this afternoon and went to Pub-D-Hub on my ROKU box to find a mindless public domain movie to watch.

I was successful.

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

Teenagers Battle The Thing is a 1958 60 minute wonder of vapid entertainment.  No story whatsoever to get in the way of the droning.  Here’s the run-down:  College professor and his students discover a mummified, um, mummy, I guess--cave-man if you prefer--in a cave.  Having never seen a horror movie in their lives, they remove the mummy from the cave and bring it to their cabin in the orange grove.  It manages to re-animate itself and kills a babysitter.  Our heroes call the sheriff, who arrives driving a 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne station wagon.  The entire group manage to kill of the mummy by dousing him (or maybe her, we really don’t know) with gasoline and setting him/her ablaze with a lit flare.

And that’s all there is.  The single most amazing thing about the movie is …

Night Tide--1961

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Had a little time to burn this afternoon before I went to work, so I fired up the 46 inch wide screed, high definition Vizio and took a peek into the Pub-D-Hub offerings on my beloved ROKU box.  All fed through my wireless home network.  Is this a grand age we live in or WHAT?!?!  And, we know what this means--

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

And here’s what I found today......  Night Tide from 1961--an hour and a half of Beatnik life from Southern California--Venice Beach and Malibu mostly, but you’ll get the idea of what the El Lay beaches were like before the Beach Boys landed.  Dennis Hopper is the name brand actor here, playing a sailor, apparently AWOL (we know this towards the end of the movie because the Shore Patrol takes him away in a 1953 or 1954 Ford station wagon--OOPS, that would be a spoiler, I guess), who falls in love with a mermaid.  Well, maybe she’s a mermaid, maybe she’s not, but I won’t spoil that part of it.

But I digress--back to the Beatnik…

Baseball Behavior

Since I was a little boy (that’s in the 1950s, children), I’ve spent a large percentage of my summer months following major league baseball--I’m  Giants guy.  The San Francisco Giants, that is.  A National League guy.  But it’s pretty close for me to be losing interest these days.

Why?  Bud Selig and his idiocy, mostly--you know.....Extra “wild card” teams...more playoffs.....no more differences between the National and the American leagues.....ever expanding divisions.  It just goes on and on with this guy.  It dilutes the game.  Now, apparently, we have some sort of instant replay crap-ola that screws up the game further.  Umpires get into a huddle and decide if it hit the foul pole or not.  Or whatever.

But that’s been going on for quite a while now.  Shoot, I didn’t even approve of the concept of divisional play.  But the part that’s driving my around the bend here is that the on (and off) field behavior of the players is getting out of control.  Some of them seem to be turning to…

Not Everything's A Sport, Sport

Big debate going on now, or so I hear.  Is cheer leading a sport?  Christ, it’s on the news this morning.  Big debate.

Let me settle this for you.  Again.

Cheer leading, like golf and bowling, is not a sport.  These are activities.  Track and field events are not sports.  They are contests.  Nascar is not a sport.  Nascar is a contest about who can outrun the revenooers the best.  Gymnastics are not sports.

So, what is a sport, you ask?  Thought you’d NEVER ask.....

A sport has a physical component, an offense and a defense, and some method of determining a winner and loser.  Baseball, badminton, ping-pong, boxing.

Sure, other activities and contests have a physical component, perhaps a score-keeping method, but no defense.  The concept of full contact bowling would necessarily have defense and would then become a sport, see?  You can be athletic and still not be involved in a sport.

You’re welcome.

Condor--TV Movie 1986

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Movie Notes From The Rust Belt..........Youngstown, Ohio

On Neflix, streamed through the ROKU streamer into the 46 inch wide-screen HDTV, I recently caught up with that unsold pilot from 1986, Condor.

What a great piece of the 80s.  Coulda been a dandy series, too, but, well.....Like I said--Unsold.  Pity.

The basic set-up has Ray Wise (of Psyche, The Good Guys, Twin Peaks, etc., etc.) as Proctor, the heroic agent of that well-known law-enforcement agency, Condor.  His partner is a knock-out blond android of the female persuasion, Lisa Hampton, portrayed by Wendy Kilbourne.  The arch-nemesis is “The Black Widow” played to the aces in black leather and escaping from prison in a jet-pack by Carolyn Seymour.

Absolutely no plot to get in the way of the 80s snappy dialog, the robot prison guards, the “TriHawk” tricycle chase scene, the IBM 286 personal computer, the laser guns shooting red and blue bolts of lightning, the toy helicopter drones, the Michael Jackson inspired mens clothing, a…

Maybe It's Just Me

News people (they used to be newsmen, but that was back when we also had “Men Working” signs) seem to be adopting some speech, um, behaviors, for lack of a better word, that bother me to some degree:

--Up Talking--You know, where every statement is a question.....Like a Valley Girl.
--Fast talking--Usually perpetrated by women.  I can’t manage to make out what’s being said.
--And then there’s this “stuttering” crap, where the speaker starts out with uh-uh-uh-uh rapidly.

Do these people no longer take diction classes in TV News-Being school?

Maybe it’s just me.....

Eureka (the television series)

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Television Notes From The Rust Belt..........Youngstown, Ohio

I started watching Eureka when it was first run, in 2006.  I was hot for Eureka based on the preview ads on SyFy (it was SciFi back then).  In my world it sort of was like the anticipation I had waiting for the pilot episode of the X-Files lo those many years ago.

I was giddy.  I had goose-flesh.  My nipples got hard.  I didn’t get disappointed.

Eureka was hands-down the pinnacle of SyFy programming.  It seemed to spawn a couple of other dandy programs (Haven and Warehouse 13) that had some legs at SyFy.  The basic premise of the show is this:  Eureka is a secret town in the Pacific Northwest populated by scientific geniuses working collaboratively and individually to make a better tomorrow, better weapons, better food additives--better stuff.  They manage to place the universe in peril frequently and are routinely saved from their own genius by the only non-genius of the group, the common sense of the smartest guy in town…

You Can't Handle The Truth

Jessep (Jack Nicholson): You want answers?
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I'm entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain…

The Car (1977)

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

I cranked up the wide screen high definition Vizio and my beloved ROKU box today.  With my Netflix account, I took a gander at The Car, a 1977 spectacular starring James Brolin.

The Car starts with a quote from the Church of Satan leader taken from the Satanic Bible, so you sort of know right from the jump where this story line (such as it is) is headed.  Not very much plot to get in the way of the mayhem here.....Evil entity dressed up like a customized 1971 Lincoln starts killing off wonderful hippie-type folks in a small town.  James Brolin is the heroic Sheriff who manages, at the end, to finish off the evil entity in a massive dynamite explosion.  Looks like the Devil wasn't all that hard to take care of after all, at least in 1977.

In between the Satanic quote and the explosion, we have plenty of the normal mid-70s clap-trap---namely, some native American wisdom, some up-tight elderlies, some flowered wall-paper, and …

Daughters of Satan (1972)--Burnt Offerings (1976)

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The Seventies.  Nineteen-seventies, that is.  Before the Internet, cell phones, and, to the greatest degree, Velcro 

When you ran low on fuel, you pulled into a “service” station.  No, not a “gas” station where you pumped your own, but a “service” station where a young man in a bow tie came to your car and greeted you, then sold you premium gasoline at 35 cents a gallon.  While the gas tank was filling, he washed your front and rear windows, checked your tire pressure, motor oil level, coolant (it was called it “water” back then), and your power steering fluid (maybe your brake fluid too, if you asked), and he did all of this at no charge.  When you paid for your gasoline, he presented you with a receipt, a hand-full of Blue Chip stamps (redeemable for merchandise) and a free steak knife.  If this Service Station Attendant worked 40 hours a week at a buck and a quarter an hour, he could afford rent, groceries, a late model used car, a girlfriend, and the occasional trip to the drive…

The Six Wives of Henry LeFay/Crazy on the Outside

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Movie notes from the Rust Belt-----Youngstown, Ohio.

Via my beloved ROKU box streaming Netflix through my home wireless network into the 46 inch HD wide screen Vizio, my Bride and I recently took in a Tim Allen double bill of our own design.  The Six Wives of Henry LeFay and Crazy on the Outside.

There’s never too much plot to get in Tim Allen’s way in his movies (or TV appearances, for that matter)--it’s pretty much always Tim playing Tim, and I approve.

Six Wives has, as a story, the Tim Allen character being killed in a Mexico para-sailing accident, then having his many ex-wives, a current wife, a future wife, and his daughter deciding what to do about a funeral.  They are all still in love with him.  Much is told via flash-back.  Hilarity and sweetness ensues.  A dandy story featuring Tim Allen, South Carolina native Andie MacDowell, Barbara Barrie (Barney Miller’s wife), and the wonderful Larry Miller (from A Mighty Wind, among other stuff).  Worry not, there’s a happy ending.

T…

Smokin' in California

I watched a brief news story (on FoxNews, of course) about a newly proposed California law.  Interesting stuff.

The state democrats in Sacramento have been in control of California since the 50s.  At this point, they really can do whatever they want, whenever they want.  We also know that California democrats are, in general, anti-big business.....anti-business generally, but anti-big business to a large degree.  In general.  Usually.  Depends on the business, I guess.

The newly proposed law (I suppose it’ll pass without much discussion given the make up of the state legislature) prohibits the smoking of tobacco products in your home if you share a wall or a ventilation system with any other place.  So, if you live in an apartment or a condo, you can’t smoke tobacco in your own home.

It doesn't really bother me if they do this.  I left California many years ago, and quit smoking even longer ago.    But here’s the rub:  The only smoking that’s going to be prohibited is tobacco sm…

Croco-Gators

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Did you know that all alligators are crocodiles, but that not all crocodiles are alligators?

Crocodiles and alligators are both part of the reptilian order Crocodylia. But they're part of different families, Crocodylidae and Alligatoridae respectively. Usually when people say "crocodile," they really mean "crocodilian." In total, there are some 23 unique species of crocodilians, including those in the lesser known family, Gavialidae.

So there, Crocodilian Dundee.


The Legend of Boggy Creek

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio


I incessantly poke fun at the SyFy channel and some of it’s programming--specifically the Ghost Hunters stuff.  Not that I’m particularly insightful with this, but they make themselves such an easy target.  I just can’t help myself.  Nevertheless, that sort of nonsense has always had a rapt audience.  Probably because people have always been frightened at things that go bump in the night.

In the public domain now is that 1972, um, thriller, I guess, The Legend of Boggy Creek.  The story is pretty straight forward.  This is the Fouke, Arkansas re-telling of the Bigfoot legend, made on the cheap by using the rural folks playing themselves and done in a sort of “docu-drama” manner.  The narrator was the local weatherman at the local TV station.  Most of the rest of the cast never appeared in any other film.  The guy who made the film, Charles B. Pierce, got funding for this movie by borrowing 150 grand from a local trucking company, and t…

Dark Mountain--1944

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


Whilst perusing the “Crime” catagory of Pub-D-Hub on my ROKU box, I tripped across that 1944 thriller, Dark Mountain.  Truth be told, I don’t have much use for movies from the 30s.  They’re made in a completely different way, and, like so many other things, I just don’t like them.  But movies beginning in about 1942 (the war years and beyond) really turn me on.

Dark Mountain was probably shot in one take and in a couple of weeks tops.  It’s got everything, all packed into less than an hour.  Love, betrayal, good guys (in this case, the U.S. Forest Service), bad gangsters, a wonderful girl, a goofy side-kick, comedy, a car chase, a cute dog, a woodie station wagon, and a happy ending.

There’s not much of a story to get in the way of the beautiful mountain scenery, classic cars, and sometimes snappy dialog.  Wonderful girl marries a gangster, but she doesn’t know he’s a gangster.  She gets caught up in a murder investigation and go…

DogWatch

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I recently caught up with a 1996 Straight-To-Video release starring Sam Elliott, DogWatch.  All of this courtesy of my Netflix subscription and my more than beloved ROKU box streaming the Netflix content through the 46 inch Vizio high definition wide screen.  It’s a wonderful age in which we live, no?

The only stuff that keeps this movie from being a classic Noir is that it’s shot in color and doesn’t have any narration.  Everything else is in order.  Snappy dialog, lots of shadows, bad girls, a bad decision on the part of the hero which ultimately leads to his downfall and, well, death, since you asked.  You can tell the age of the movie just by watching the scenes with the strippers--NO TATTOOS.  What a pleasant surprise.  Tattoo-free nekkid women.

And that’s pretty much it for the story--Oh, there’s plenty of interesting twists and turns, and Sam Elliott is always good..........and he has the world’s best mustache.  Like my grandmother used to say--”Kissing a man without a mustach…

eBay Seller Woes

I sell items on eBay from time to time.  I’m not a retailer or some big store with a tried and true return policy.  I always list my items as “no returns”.  So I sold a wireless Sony media streamer to a Maryland buyer.  It works fine.  It’s like new.  The moron who bought it e-mailed me after he received it.  He said, and I quote, “wifi not work”.  I can see problems in the offing.  Wound up with me being forced to refund this idiot his purchase price in full, as well as his shipping costs.  All because he’s too stupid to figure out how to use the item.  While I was trying to “satisfy” this dude, I actually tracked down the user manual on the web and e-mailed him the link.  Also wrote out the process to set it up properly and find his wireless network in the device interface (provided, of course, that he actually had a home wireless network, which I doubt).

Nevertheless, he was too stupid to figure it out.  He demanded that I refund his price.  I e-mailed him that I’d be happy to ref…

Shaving, Skeet, Snow, and Baseball

First, I think I know why old men grow idiotic white beards that catch egg yolk, and other stuff.  When I shave these days, I have to wear my reading glasses and use a magnifying mirror to be certain that I don’t miss any spots.  Having a beard, even with dried egg yolk, would simplify my life.

Second, did every one see that picture of Obama skeet shooting?  Yep, I now believe that Obama is completely in favor of the Second Amendment.  Or, maybe the picture was a dandy little photoshopped item?  Shit.  Even if he really was shooting a shotgun at pieces of clay, it’s a hunting exercise, and the Second Amendment has more to do with resisting tyranny than shooting clay pigeons.  Or so I’ve been told.

Next, it’s still snowing in Northeast Ohio.  Damn cold, too.  What, exactly, has happened to global warming?  Al Gore really needs to offer a reasonable explanation.

Finally, pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training on February 12th.  There’s lots of houses where the middle of Febr…

Super Bowl 47

I watch one NFL game a year.  I have nothing against football--I watch local High School Football, and some college games (after all, I live in BIG TEN country and am required by law to watch college football), but the NFL has lost whatever pull it once had on me.  So, I watch only the Super Bowl on Super Sunday.

The team that I really want to be a winner is the Niners, and that’s only because of The Catch, Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, and Hacksaw Reynolds.  And a few others.  I couldn't possibly tell you who their current coach is, nor any player names.  Even thus, I paid attention yesterday.

I got home from work shortly after the second quarter started, and my Bride and her Little Dog were watching the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.  With permission, I changed the channel to The Super Bowl, and saw that the Forty-Niners were getting their lunch handed to them by something called “The Ravens”--Is Edgar Allen Poe somehow involved with the NFL these days?

So, that ends, more or less, …

Trapped (1949)

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


Fresh in from PubDHub and my ROKU box is another film noir, Trapped (the 1949 version).  This one stars Lloyd Bridges as a counterfeiter/escapee and Barbara Payton as his moll.

There’s plenty of mood lighting and snappy dialog in this one, and, as most of these noir movies go, there’s a series of bad choices made, ending in the death of the main character.  That’s it for the story.  Fade to black..........

Mr. Bridges, the Senior, was still getting starring roles in 1949 because, well, he hadn’t been accused of being a Communist yet.  Sure, he was a WWII veteran of the Coast Guard and all, but we were on a Red Hunt back in the early 50s.  His career was resurrected in Sea Hunt, a 50s television series revolving around underwater SCUBA scenery and the occasional line spoken by Lloyd, and being cleared of Communist leanings by the FBI.  He continued to make friends and fans until the end, having starring (or supporting) roles in the Ai…

Detour--1945

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Movie Notes From The Rust Belt..........Youngstown, Ohio

With the help of Netflix, the HD Wide Screen Vizio, and the ROKU box, I came across that 1945 classic thriller from the noir era/collection/school, Detour.  Detour is a “don’t miss” if you’re into this sort of thing, and I qualify as “into this sort of thing”.

Not too much story to get in the way of the bad decisions, mood lighting, and scrappy dialog here.  Piano player begins to hitch-hike across the country from New York to El Lay to catch up to his love.  Along the way he’s picked up by a bookie who, by a bizarre twist of circumstances, is also heading to El Lay.  What WERE the chances?????  The piano player takes a turn at driving the convertible, and, during a rainstorm, stops to put up the top.  When he opens the door, the bookie falls out, hitting his head on a rock, expiring on the spot.  The piano player does the only reasonable thing.  He hides the body, assumes the bookie’s identity, and takes the car and the bookie…

Highway Dragnet-1954

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

Had a couple of hours to kill before I headed off to work yesterday afternoon, and filled them with that classic 1954 film-noir, Highway Dragnet, all brought to my living room via Netflix and my beloved ROKU box, displayed for my viewing pleasure on the wide-screen, high-definition Vizio.  What a great combo, as they might say in a film-noir.

Plenty of good story here, but not so much that it gets in the way of the action and writing.  Korean war veteran hooks up briefly in Las Vegas with a washed up model in a bar.  They argue and early the next morning she’s found dead--strangled with a strap of some sort, it would seem.  Las Vegas Police accuse our innocent war veteran of the murder, he escapes from their custody.  I mean really now--he’s a recently separated Army Sergeant with a chestful of medals and plenty of ability.  How could he NOT escape.  The chase lasts from Las Vegas to the Salton Sea, and in the process, our hero hitc…

Retroactive-1997

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt—Youngstown, Ohio
Yesterday I fired up the ROKU box and went straight to Netflix, where I found that one of the recommended movies for me, based, apparently, on my previous viewing habits, was that 1997 time-bending thriller, Retroactive. If it's recommended by Netflix, that's good enough for me, and it ought to be good enough for you, too.
About 90 seconds into the movie, I realized that I had actually seen this movie once before--maybe as a first-run, maybe I rented it (in those dark days before having Netflix and a ROKU box), or maybe I'm a character in a time-travel story. As my bride would be more than happy to explain, just because I once watched a movie (or read a book, or ate at a restaurant, or.....), that doesn't mean that I will remember anything much about it the second time around. And I don't, or didn't or something along those lines. I watched Deja Vu probably 12 or 15 times before I remembered that I'd seen…

Death Race 2000

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Movie Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio

In the snowy cold of Northeast Ohio, I just watched that 1975 (or maybe it was 1974) Roger Corman thriller:  Death Race 2000.

Dandy entertainment by any standard.  It’s set in the far future of the year 2000 and has to do with a coast-to-coast car race where the drivers gain extra points by running down pedestrians.

Like I said.....Dandy entertainment by any standard.

OK, then--we got, as stars, Kung-Fu hisself, David Carradine, and Sly Rocky Rambo before he was either Rocky or Rambo, but he was still pretty Sly.  They’re the main race drivers.  Now, in this future, every driver has a pretty female navigator, and, as the plot progresses, we find that the pretty navigators also have bosoms.  No full frontal nudity in this one, though, so we don’t really know if women still had pubic hair in 1975 (or 1974) or not.  Sorry.

Outside of the nudity and car race, one of the highlights of the show is a fight between Kung-Fu and Sly, but Kung-Fu …

The Man Who Fell To Earth (1987)

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Here we are.  Dead of winter.  Snow on the ground.  Fire in the fireplace.  But, I still have power and cable.  This means I also have Netflix and my ROKU box, feeding a movie into the high definition wide screen Vizio.  And, as we now know, this means..........Movie Notes from the Rust Belt--Youngstown, Ohio.

Today’s feature is a made-for-TV movie from those halcyon days of 1987, The Man Who Fell To Earth.  The story is simple.  Alien, who looks remarkably human-like, and his alien pals, crash land on Earth.  Seems they were looking for a new home since their planet is dying.  Very sad.  Our alien’s three buddies die in the crash and he buries them before leaving the area, thus proving his humanity really early into the movie.  C’Mon....For Pete’s sake, this was 1987.  We still had hope.  Alien falls in love with an Earth girl and her evil teen-ager, develops the pre-cursor to the iPad (let us not forget this was the time of the home computer being an Atari 400), gets involved with …

Non Stop New York

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Seems that it’s still cold and windy in Northeast Ohio.  Night comes early in the winter here.  And we all know what that means.......

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

Today’s feature via Pub-D-Hub and my ROKU box is that 1937 classic “B” movie, Non Stop New York.  It’s a little bit sci-fi, a little bit gangster, a little bit noir, a little bit romance, and 100 percent British.

Non Stop New York is based on a 1936 novel titled Sky Steward by Ken Attiwill.  Didn’t take long to turn a book into a movie in the 30s, or so it would seem.

OK--Way too much plot to get in the way of the story here--Cute British girl witnesses a murder by a gangster in New York, then takes a boat home to Merry-Olde, then finds out that an innocent man is about to be executed for the murder, then becomes a stow-away on--THE STAR OF THE SHOW!!  It’s an airplane.  A really big one.  Something between a luxury liner and a passenger train.  Something straight out of Buck Rogers or Scientific Amer…