Thursday, December 8, 2011

Garbage Pail Kid Of The Week - Fryin' Brian

Haha, I really like this one. I love the old school prison outfit...do any prisoners actually wear the black and white striped outfits anymore? I also like the "x" over the eyes, another classic cartoon effect to signify death or dying. Poor Brian, it looks like he's really thrashing out here based on his hands. I guess they didn't let him shave before electrocuting him either. Best of all is that the plug is inches away from him and the poor fella's hands are bolted in.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "1408"



Where I bought this movie: Hollywood Video of Ronkonkoma. A classic four used movies for $30 deal. How could I turn that down?!?

* Why Own It?: I don’t remember this movie much in the theaters but it had gotten decent 2 and ½ star reviews. Plus, John Cusack in it as well as Samuel L. Jackson so it couldn’t have been THAT bad in my eyes. I was also drawn to the cover of the DVD box which shows a giant close up of John Cusack’s and Samuel Jackson's face staring at me.

* Had I seen this movie before?: First time viewing…breaking a streak of 5 or 6 movies in a row that I had already seen. It was nice seeing a fresh new movie.




* Time collecting dust: A little over 2 years.

* What I thought of the movie: Based on a Stephen King book, the movie tells the story of John Cusack’s character, Mike Enslin, who’s an author that goes around to haunted houses to see if they are really haunted. Needless to say he hears about room 1406 in a posh hotel in New York City and needs to check it out. It’s a pretty standard yet “no that bad” horror movie. What hurts it is a PG-13 rating (horror movies should NEVER be rated anything than an R…in fact it should a HARD R). Nonetheless it’s more about the atmosphere and set up of the movie story rather than the actually things that happen. The ending is pretty good too. I enjoyed the movie for what it was and am sure I’m going to see some much more terrible movies down the road as I continue this DVD journey.

"if this was rated R, the dead lady would have her top off"

And the cast: The cast is small. John Cusack is in almost every scene and by the second half of the movie it’s just him. Like Tom Hanks in Castaway, he does a lot of talking out loud, which I’m not sure I would do…but it needs to be done for the movie viewer I guess. Don't be fooled by the DVD cover, Samuel Jackson doesn’t have a big role here and he’s actually very calm. Mary McCormack plays Cusack’s wife but it’s a small role.

Favorite Scenes: 1.) John Cusack’s surfing accident (I just wanted to see what that looks like in writing) is more humorous than anything else. 2) The scene with Samuel L. Jackson talking to John Cusack setting up the entire movie (it’s the only scene SLJ is in I think). 3.) The last five minutes.



Recommended?: Ehhh, again, it’s not bad but I don’t think you’ll be running out to rent/buy it. If its on cable, I’d say check it out.

Cut the BS about the movie, I just want to know if there is any nudity: None…not even a cleavage shot.

Previous Movie: 500 Days Of Summer
Next Movie: A.I (Artificial Intelligence)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Feel Good Friday Music Video

Ladies and Gentlemen...I give you the great Dan Hartman.

I hope your weekend is full of moving sidewalks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 18 - "Voices That Care" By THE MOST RANDOM ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE ANYWHERE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE!!!



Though not a high-tech gimmicky video by any means, this video is on the list just for the sheer randomness of the people involved in this video. It's like taking a snapshot of who was relevant back in 1991.

The background of this video was that the U.S. was in Kuwait and fighting with Iraq. It was the first sort of war since the Vietnam War ended 16 years before. Since music had been successful in the past for causes like local hunger ("Do They Know It's Christmastime") and Ethiopian world wide sized hunger ("We Are The World"), it was a no brainer to put together a song by a bunch of singers to raise awareness for our troops in the Middle East.

Before analyzing this video, let's take a look at the three MVP slots of the prior two charity songs:

"Do They Know It's Christmastime" - Bono, George Michael, Sting

"We Are The World" - Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder

"Voices That Care" - Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, Will Smith

As you can see, that's a huge dropoff. In fact, just about all of the singers (and random actors that appear at the end) are probably all B list celebrities at best these days. Let's take a look:

***This turned into a long breakdown...I recommend opening the video in another window to following along. Beleive me when I say the celebrity sightings come fast and furious...especially at the end.



0:00 - I'm not sure who this is...one of New Edition? Still, I love the transition over to Randy Travis.

0:17 - Ahhhh, a young Celine Dion. She was probably fresh from her Beauty and the Beast song and that "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" single. I still find it creepy that she married her manager who knew her since she was 13 and he was 40 at the time.

0:29 - One of my favorite voices of all time...Mr. Peter "Glory Of Love" Cetera. He actually co-wrote this song. Sadly, this would be one of the last relevant moments of his career though he lives on forever in weddings ("You're The Inspiration"), desperate men trying to salvage their relationships ("If You Leave Me Now"), and a photo montage of a couple about to get married ("Just You And Me"...I actually did this at my rehearsal dinner).

0:40 - It's Mr. Bobby Brown having a coke induced seizure singing next to what looks like the female half of Ashford and Simpson.

0:50 - The lead singer of Warrant? He died earlier this year I believe.

0:54 - Another deceased singer, the smooth silky voice of Luther Vandross. He gets a prime roll here singing the first chrous...good for him.

1:03 - In what seems like a dream sequence, you see Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. Magic looks like he's wearing a priest outfit here.

1:07 - Now things are just getting weird...Ahmad Rashad, Dominque Wilkens, and somebody with a press badge appear. I hated Ahmad Rashad with a passion growing up. He seemed like a huge phony, licked Michael Jordan's asshole sucking up to him all the time, and he was married to Mrs. Huxtable from "The Cosby Show".

1:10 - A blink and you'll miss it cameo from David Robinson aka "The Admiral"...what a dumb nickname.

1:24 - A young Garth Brooks. What's happened to him this century? He would seem prime for a comeback if he wanted to...I used to hate him a lot too growing up. "Friends In Low Places" used to piss me off for some reason. Anyway, I have no idea who he's singing with here.

1:36 - The sound of two angels farting...Nelson.

1:48 - One of the greatest "OHHHHs" of all time. Ladies and gentlemen, the immortal Michael Bolton. I think every year for the past ten years, I find another song of his that I didn't know was him and end up buying it. "How Can We Be Lovers" and "I'm Back On My Feet Again" are two underrated classics...trust me.

2:05 - Bringing the 1950's and the 1990's together...Little Richard.

2:08 - Fah shnizzle, its Will Smith...hot off of "Parents Just Don't Understand" and "Nightmare On My Street"? Love the little rap here. That's a hot jacket he's wearing too.

2:36 - In an ode to his classic video "Money For Nothing" with the weird color streams, here's Mark Knopfler drawing the short straw to do the guitar solo for this song. I'm not sure who's the guy next to him in the purple golf vest.

2:43 - More coked up Bobby Brown and the Warrant guy gets some more face time, though he's sort of mimicing Tom Petty's late 80's look with the cowboy hat, sunglasses, and pale complexion.

3:00 - This just about seals the deal that this is from the 90's. Kenny G, the lord of the clarisaxophone.

3:07 - Time for the all star celebrity choir to arrive. Kenny Rogers, Whoopi Goldberg, Chevy Chase, a serious looking Kurt Russel, William Shatner, Mike Tyson (WTF!), James Woods, Meryl Streep, Brian Bosworth, Wayne Gretzky (in black in white), Ted Danson....

3:25 - Oh Celine...we know you pandered for the big spot in this song. Your husband/grandfather strongarmed somebody into this. Then again, I have to admit that your voice is BY FAR the best one on this record.

3:30 - Things start to get really crazy now with cameos. Let's blow through the ones not mentioned yet really quick and include a snarky comment on each one.

3:35 - Richard Gere (gerbil?)
3:41 - Billy Crystal (with bad beard)
3:43 - Alyssa Milano (pre boob job?...can't tell)
3:44 - Sally Field (her agent said "if Chevy Chase is in this video, then god damn it, I will be in it too!"
3:45 - Fred Savage (who gives Alyssa Milano a nice look down)
3:49 - Downtown Julie Brown (who gets trashed by her peers in the new MTV Biography)
3:50 - Dudley Moore! (loved this guy in the Father/Son body switch movie with Kirk Cameron)3:56 - Jon Lovitz (Never mind Chevy Chase, it was Jon Lovitz who Sally Field said that if he was in this video, she can be in it too.)
3:59 - Sissy Spacek ("Its all for YOU Carrie...its all for YOU")
4:05 - Harry Hamlin (star of one of Cinemax's greatest erotic thrillers, "Save Me"...trust me, watch this movie)
4:08 - Marilu Henner (her memory would allow her to know exactly how many takes it took Bobby Brown to get his part right).
4:10 - Orel Hershiser (greatest first name ever).
4:12 - Henry Winkler (aka The Fonz)
4:16 - Kevin Costner (with the greatest shit eating grin)
4:18 - Michelle Pfieffer (I always thought her last name was pronounced 'pah-fife-her")
4:23 - Brooke Shields (how many chances did sher have in her career)
4:29 - Lindsey Wagner (the $6,000,000 woman)
4:33 - Debbie Gibson (I'd be very nervous if I was her standing next to Mike Tyson...)

4:41 - One of music history's greatest mysteries...who the heck is this guy? Wikipedia says his name is "Warren Wiebe" and that he was a career backup vocalist. Regardless, to get the final vocal spot in a HUGE charity song, something had be going down behind the scenes.

4:56 - My favorite cameo. Its the guy with the blond sort of crew cut and thick glasses...I don't
know his name but he was in the movie "Total Recall" playing one of the bad guys who chases after Arnold Schwarzenegger. He's prominently featured in the scene with the three breasted stripper.

5:00 - Ugh, Don King...he shoehorns himself into everything.

5:02 - KENNY! Why didn't they let you sing a line like they did in "We Are The World"?

GOOD LORD!!! I think this is greatest video in terms of having a snapshot of pop culture in a certain time EVER. I mean, someone should put the last two minutes of this video into a time capsule to be opened in a 100 years to see how terribly awesome the late 80's early 90's were.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Garbage Pail Kid Of The Week - Jay Decay



This week's Garbage Pail Kid is a rotting little fella, "Jay Decay".


Like a good/bad slasher film from the 1980's, our little undead friend here rises from the grave. I like the missing eyeball and the fact that part of his jaw is exposed. His hair is surprisingly intact too. There's not too much else going on here other than a very bright moon.


Oh well, here's to you Jay Decay.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "500 Days Of Summer"


Where I bought this movie: The last gasp of my used movie buying before reality set in and I realized I should be saving discretionary income for things like retirement and not movies that I will ever see unless I start a blog about trying to watch every single DVD in my collection.

* Why Own It?: 500 Days Of Summer was a critics darling in the summer of 2009. Since my wife and I have WILDLY different tastes in movies (“Darling how about we watch Alien Resurrection tonight?...no? wha? You want to watch “The Holiday” again???”….these are why Man Caves are vital in every household), it was a rare opportunity to watch a movie together.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Once, in the winter of 2009 when it first came out in the above mentioned scenario. I will tell you, I had to pull my own teeth to watch it again. Not because it’s a bad movie (I love it actually) but mainly because it’s a hard movie to watch by yourself.




* Time collecting dust: One of my more recent purchases…about 22 months.

* What I thought of the movie: I can’t recommend this movie enough. A perfect date movie that has a lot of great situations that both guys and girls can relate to. What makes the movie though is how it’s constructed. It’s literally about a 500 day relationship and it skips around different days in that relationship. So in one scene, you’re seeing two people falling in love and in the next, they’re at the relationship’s bitter end, then they're back in love again. Who really remembers past relationships in chronological order anyway? Usually its either good or bad memories at certain points in the relationship. There’s also clever editing tricks and film making ideas I had never seen before that were really neat.




And the cast: The cast is really just two people…Zooey Deschanel (of the new TV Show “New Girl”) and Joseph Gordon Levitt (who I couldn’t stand in “3rd Rock Of The Sun” when he was a kid but who I loved in this movie, “Inception”, and of course “G.I. Joe”. Other than that, there are really no familiar names though the little sister of Gordon-Levitt’s character is sort of a semi-rising star in movies like “Kick-Ass” and “Let Me In”. Other than that, its character actor city...unless you count a random appearance by the great Han Solo.




Recommended?: Yes, a must see…but again, see it with someone you love…or at someone who’s pants you want to get into.

Favorite Scenes: There are a lot of good ones. A few that stand out are 1.) The “You Make My Dreams” montage where everyone is dancing through Central Park (trust me, its not ax corny as it reads). 2.) The similar yet very different montages between the two characters and the little things they do to show they are, at first falling in love, and later can’t stand each other. 3.) My favorite scene has to be the one where the guy goes to the party to try and get the girl back. It’s shown via split screen and on the left you see what he expects to happen and on the right side you see what actually happens…one of my favorite scenes of the past few years, just brilliant.






Cut the BS about the movie, I just want to know if there is any nudity: Sadly none...not even a Zooey sideboob.

Previous Movie: 40 Year Old Virgin
Next Movie: A.I (Artificial Intelligence)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Birthdays...



Ah yes, the birthday. Today, I turn 34 years old and each birthday I have seems to matter less and less. However, each birthday my friends and family have seem to matter more and more. Anyway, here’s how I consider the various emotions as birthdays continue to pass by:

Birth – 4 years old: Nobody remembers their birthdays at this age yet these are the birthdays where you get the greatest amounts of toys...and yet all of them are rendered obsolete by the time you’re 5 or 6. I mean, does a 6 year old play with a stuffed animal, a random Bob The Builder Truck, or a Dora The Explorer Coloring Book?



5 years old – 12 years old: The peak of toy gluttony. As a child’s ADD increases throughout childhood, so does the need to get “the hot toy of the moment”. This age is important because kids can now verbalize the gifts they want for their birthday and see it has a free handout from Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Ned and Aunt Ellen. Kids from your class that you never will be friends with past grade school are obligated to bring a gift if invited to your lame ass roller skating party (almost like a wedding!!!).

A smart 10 year old would say, “In lieu of getting me the new Madden game, how about a $50 contribution to a 529 plan for my large college debt I’m going to have when I’m 22 years old?”



13 years old – 16 years old – The best gift at this age is just cold hard cash.

17 years old – I WANT A CAR!!!

18 years old – 20 years old: With most people in college at this age things start to happen. Cash is still king but the checks you used to get from various relatives may dwindle due to indifference by said relative or sadly the death of the relative. Therefore it becomes most important to maximize the gifts you get.

21 years old: GOOD GOD I AM AN ADULT!!! LET’S GO TO THE LOCAL BAR AND DO 21 SHOTS OF JAEGER!!!



22 years old - 24 years old: These are the most fun birthdays in that the early 20’s are usually the best time of your life in terms of partying and solidifying your lifelong friend base. By this point gifts are usually in the form of a card or a bottle of liquor.

25 years old: Car insurance rates drop for most people this age (YAAAAY!!!) but you begin to have your first quarter-life crisis (WHERE ARE MY MEDS?!?).

26 years old – 29 years old: Things begin to change here. Birthdays now might be spent with your recently married friends who like to be in bed by 11pm but mixed in with your single friends who can still party until 4am. You begin to see the separation from the adult to the young adult.

30 years old: The biggest birthday since turning 21 if only because 30 starts to feel old. From a professional standpoint though, getting into your 30’s means you have something of a career going and hopefully a halfway decent resume.

31 years old to 39 years old: More low key birthdays with friends…maybe a night of bowling or karaoke. The prime of your life.

40 years old: “Life Begins at 40”…right? Probably the last big blowout birthday with friends where you can really push it and party until 2am…that is, assuming you have a babysitter for your kids.



41 years old – 49 years old – Birthdays here are reduced to a night out with one, maybe two couples. Physical ailments may seem to set in…the achy back, the creaky knee, and the old “where did THAT hair come from? That doesn’t belong there!”

50 years old: - Ah yes, the big family gathering. Chances are the kids are almost grown up and it’s always good to have that good old fashioned family dinner. Often a surprise, though with most surprises today, they are not easy to pull off in today’s high tech world.

51 years old – 59 years old: Any birthday beyond this point probably aren’t too much fun and it’s always exacerbated by that wise guy friend who sends you the “another year older? Uh-oh!” birthday card.

59 and half years old: An interesting age in that while this is no party, all of your retirement assets are free to take out without any penalties…this is a good thing.

60 years old: A tender birthday. Once again the family gets together. Maybe Jimmy flies in from Oregon as a surprise or Sally drives all the way up from North Carolina to make sure she doesn’t miss the big day. Gifts are now bought at the “Things Remembered” store and often involve framed pictures.




61 years old – 69 years old: This is where the wheels begin to fall off healthwise although chances are you are retired and if lucky, have a ton of time and money to travel the world and do all of those things you wished you could do in your 20’s (no money) and 30’s and 40’s (damn job….damn kids). Birthdays are now just relegated to going out with the spouse, any local family members, and another couple.

70 years old: AKA the big family reunion birthday. Now you not only have your kids, but your grandkids too. A potential gift is a cruise with other seniors.

71 years old – 79 years old: More health problems persist and sadly your friends begin to pass one. Each birthday is just another year towards joining them. But at least Chili’s gives you a free birthday appetizer if you show them your drivers license.

80 years old: A birthday to reflect. Usually held quietly at a function hall. Here, you usually invite not just family, but any surviving friends. Enjoy your night, as it may be the last time you see all of these people in one room together again…at least until your funeral.



81 Years old to 89 years old: Enjoying the sunset years the best you can. More friends pass away as your go to more funerals than birthday parties. You recognize more names from the obituary section. A nice time to reflect and if one wishes to, write their memoirs to leave as a legacy.

90 years old: The last hurrah. Now you might have four generations of family members surrounding you…IN YOUR ASSISTED LIVING RESIDENCE.

91 years old to 99 years old: Now you’re just taking it day by day and each birthday is a wonder to your family. A birthday present is now in the form of phone call as you listen to Cats In The Cradle one hundred times a day and gently weep.

100 years old: Willard Scott puts your picture up on the Today Show and your life is now totally complete.





Or is it...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feel Good Friday Music Video

Here's a classic from the 1970's to push you off into the weekend...

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "The 40 Year Old Virgin"



Where I bought this movie: Good old Hollywood Video in Ronkonkoma during one of their 4 for $30 used DVD deals.

* Why Own It?: The 40 Year Old Virgin was one of the biggest comedies during the summer of 2005. Therefore I said to myself, “WELL THEN, I MUST OWN THAT MOVIE”. The promos listed it as a raunchy comedy for adults and that was like throwing chum to a fish…I was hooked.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Once before, on DVD when it came out in 2006 but I’ve seen bits and pieces of this movie on cable over the years.

* Time collecting dust: 4 years since I’ve last touched it.

* What I thought of the movie: Definitely one of the funniest movies made in the past 20 years. I had forgotten a lot of the funny parts and throwaway lines. Its a smart comedy with a great story that guys and girls can relate to. Dare I call this, a “male chick flick”? To bring a slightly far fetched situation (literally a man who is a 40 year old virgin) to the big screen and make it somewhat believable is impressive. Steve Carelll’s Andy character is definitely childlike in many ways but he’s a pretty smart guy as well. I also love how all of the main characters work in a Best Buy type place.




And the cast: The cast is full of very funny famous people but at the time, none of them were as famous as they are today. Steve Carell was probably the biggest name and Paul Rudd had been in a few big movies like Clueless but Jane Lynch, Seth Rogan, Elizabeth Banks, and Leslie Mann hadn’t really become household names just yet. Also look out for a young Kat Dennings and her rack as the daughter of Andy’s girlfriend who would go on to star in one of TV’s worst comedies today, “Two Broke Girls”. Even Jonah Hill pops up in one of his first movie appearances.




Recommended?: Absolutely, but this is a movie made even better having a couple of drinks and watching it with a friends…or with a 40 year old virgin I guess.

Favorite Scenes: There are a lot…The Michael McDonald video constantly playing in the store, The Speed Dating scene, Andy getting thrown up on by a drunken Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd’s “I’M LEAVING THE BOX OF PORN ON YOUR FRONT DOORSTEP NOW!!!” scene, almost every line Seth Rogan says, Jane Lynch sexually harassing all of her employees, the scene in the book store where Andy answers Beth’s questions with questions to pick her up, and of course the chest hair ripping scene. There are too many more to mention.




Cut the BS about the movie, I just want to know if there is any nudity: Lots of flashes here and there but nothing too titillating. Sadly Elizabeth Banks does not get nude. There’s a funny scene with the adult film star Stormy using Andy’s voice to talk dirty to him. I love the girl in the speed dating scene, when her boob falls out while she’s talking to Andy.

Previous Movie: 28 Weeks Later
Next Movie: 500 Days Of Summer

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Classic 1980's Cartoons - Inhumanoids



This is a pretty obscure cartoon from the mid 80's. I don't remember what it was exactly about but the basic plot revolved around these soldiers that wore strange suits and fought these underworld creatures. Oh, and it also featured some of the SCARIEST DEMENTED cartoon villains and animation that I can recall growing up.

First, there's the intro that features no less that sixty cuts in a thirty second spot. I think I had a seizure watching this and its no wonder I have some form of ADD watching this 25 years ago. I love the catchy theme song "Inhumanoids, inhumanoids...the evil that lies within". Great vocal harmonies on the word "within" by the way.



There were three main bad guys. The leader of the bad guys was "Metlar" (I had to look that one up). He sort of looks like Jabba The Hut's right hand creature from Return Of The Jedi, the one with the annoying laugh, crossed with...Jabba The Hut. Metlar was by far the least scary villain but then again, take a look at this commercial for his toy.



First off, I love the reaction of the little kid around the 15 second mark...nothing like a little wind machine. Most of all, do you see how HUGE the Metlar toy is? Take a look at the 19 second mark...that little kid is struggling to yank the nearly 2 foot toy out of a bed of rocks!

Next was Tendril. He looked like a giant weed that mated with the Brundle Fly and had a huge 1970's porno mustache. Let's take a look...



Good Lord!!! That has to be the scariest looking toy. Just freeze frame the 22 second mark and you will be visited by Tendril in your dreams for the next few weeks.

But Tendril wasn't the scariest character of them all...nope, that had to be the creature called D'Compose (I'm not sure if he was French). He was some sort of vampire as you'll see below. Without looking at any of the clips found on Youtube, I have never forgotten him screaming "DEEEE-COMMMM-POOOOOSE!!!" in a shrill voice. This pretty much sums up he and the show in a nutshell.



HOLY SHIT WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?!? This show was made for 10 year olds? That transformation was INSANE. I look back on this show now and its pretty cool but I'm not sure what cartoon executives were thinking back in 1986. Cocaine must be awesome.

I am going to hunt this show down on DVD now...



GAHHHH!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Garbage Pail Kid Of The Week - Art Apart



This week's Garbage Pail Kid of the week is "Art Apart". Now, I don't know anybody under the age of 50 named Art or even Arthur but since Art rhymes with a lot of words, it makes perfect sense.

Anyway, Art appears that he was torn apart by the family cat or maybe a parent who became enrages by their child's obsession with Cabbage Patch Kids (and beleive me, kids were INSANE over them in the mid 80's....well at the least the kids I went to Catholic School with were).

Thankfully Art's head remains attached to his body but he cruelly must stare at his severed arms and legs for all eternity. Strangely enough, Art was stripped naked before being ripped apart...maybe that explains the smile on his face?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "28 Weeks Later"



* Where I bought this movie: R.I.P Hollywood Video. I’ve probably bought more movies here than other store, other than the Tower Records in Boston. Hollywood Video had these great deals where you could by four used newly released DVD for anywhere between $20-$30.

* Why Own It?: I really liked 28 Days later so why not take a chance on the sequel? It also featured more crazy blood drooling zombies. Though we live in a sort of zombie saturated media today (Zombieland, The Walking Dead, Twilight?), it was still pretty refreshing and innovative back in 2007.



* Had I seen this movie before?: I had seen this movie once before living in Bohemia, NY…around 2007. So this was a rare second watching.

* Time collecting dust: 4 years since I’ve last touched it.

* What I thought of the movie: A very good sequel. Much faster and bloodier than 28 Hours later. The cast was largely unknown but that’s what makes it good since you don’t invest in any characters with star power. What started as one type of movie veered off into another about 40 minutes in. The movie is actually one of the more depressing ones if you take a step back and take in what you just watched.



And the cast: Though mainly unknowns as the time, the cast does feature one of the first roles for Jeremy Renner, the guy from Hurt Locker and The Town. It also stars Rose Byrne who might be better known for her roles in the TV show Damages and the movie “Bridesmaids”. Other than that, its pretty much a bunch of character actors.

Recommended? Yes, but you should watch the two movies back to back. Be prepared for some blood and gore though.

Favorite Scenes: Hmmm…I’d have to choose between the awesome sniper sequence (talk about a real life video game), the pitch black scene in the subway tunnel, and the romantic reunion between the husband and wife in this movie. You’ll see what I mean…Oh and seeing Jeremy Renner get lit up by torch is pretty wild too.




Cut the BS about the movie, I just want to know if there is any nudity: A possible bare zombie breast but nothing titillating by any means. The teenage daughter is pretty hot but she has crazy eyes.

Previous Movie: 28 Days Later
Next Movie: The 40 Year Old Virgin

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 19 - "One Night In Bangkok" by Murray Head



Head...Murray Head. What a perfect name. If I ever get a dog I might just name it Murray Head. Anyway, Murray Head (I can't just call him Murray or even just Head...he's Murray Head) was responsible for one of the strangest topics you could cover with music...chess.

Yes...this song...its about chess. The name of the album this song was on was called "Chess". That's pretty much it. The lyrics tell a tell of a guy who travels to Bangkok, not for the strippers or prostitutes. He goes there to play chess. He also thinks he's better than anybody else. Anyway, here's the video. Follow along...



Beginng

0:16 - 0:29: In what must have been mind blowing special effects at the time (1982 I believe) you see a chess board right out of an Atari game slowly morph in a single square which then fades into a young woman's eye.

I have to say quickly here that you MUST seek out the extended intro to this song. It has an orchestral score that Yanni has made a career out of imitating. You hear the very last part of it in the beginning of the video here but it actually lasts over two minutes. An NBA team should get a hold of this, it would make excellent introduction music...that's if there's going to be an NBA season.

0:37 - 0:53: Say hello to Murray Head and what looks like a dozen smoke machines and a ladder to nowhere. Did I say how awesome that intro is?

0:54 - 1:10: Murray gives you a little tour of his home ending in a giant room featuring a huge chess board as a floor. This is the only song you'll ever hear a song lyric featuing the words "Yul Brenner". I love the synthesizer in this song too.

1:11 - Michael Jackson must have taken notes because the floor lighting into a chess board looks like a very similar idea used in "Billie Jean" one year later.

1:22 - 1:27: Not sure who directed this video but I do like the filming through the chess pieces here.

1:28 - 1:38: I must say that Bangkok is well diversified. You have a white guy, an Indian woman, a black guy/girl (can't tell), an asian guy, and maybe a spanish woman? Nice "jazz hands" here.

1:42 - I love this part of the song...especially the "whatdya mean" part at 1:51. Lots of special effects going on here that could probably be redone by an 8th grader with a Mac today in his computer class.

2:05 - 2:09: A line I will now incorporate into my regular jargon..."I get my kicks ABOVE the waistline Sunshine". I can't wait to use it the next time I am propositioned by a stripper or hooker.

2:10 - 2:17 : Murray talks as two boxers reenact any fight scene from Rocky 3 and 4. I love how the guy on the right falls at the 2:17 mark. Good Lord, that's some terrible acting.

2:34 - 2:52: I would love a chess expert to chime in and let me know if the moves he's making during the game against the cute lady make any sense.

2:56 - 3:10: After talking about "cerebral fitness" and "reclining footers", Murray appears on a huge TV screen overlooking a chess board with people dancing on it. Cocaine must have been AWESOME in the 1980's.

3:16 - 3:20: I love the facial tics here. "Yah Masssahhge Pahhhlahrs"

3:21 - 3:36: My favorite part of any 80's video...the group dance sequence!!! I'm not sure what they're trying to do here but I love the random hand and arm movements.

3:36 - 4:03 : Murray joins the dancing by appearing from somewhere underneath the chess board floor. He sort of just stands there at first but then struts his way across the board as people go crazy dancing around him.

4:04 - I love that final look.

Until next time...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Bad Shellfish

I had some bad tuna last night and this is pretty much what happened...I didn't get a smile at the end though.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Garbage Pail Kid Of The Day - "Drunk Ken"




Hmmmm...showing someone completely blitzed out of his mind is probably not a good idea to show the 7 to 10 year old target market the Garbage Pail Kids were going after. He almost looks like Bob Hoskins character from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" which came out around the same time as these cards.

Regardless, it looks like Ken is having a blast. Not only is he surrounded by a blue rabbit and pink elephant but a snake right out of the game Q-Bert is there too. Is that the planet Saturn as well?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The History of Movies from A to Z - "28 Days Later"



• Where I bought this movie: I ordered this movie from Amazon.com back in 2003 when I lived in Bayside, Queens and was at the peak of my DVD hoarding.

* Why Own It?: I had heard nothing but great things about this movie when it came out. Directed by “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle (who’d later go onto Oscar glory with “Slumdog Millionnaire”) and starring Cillian Murphy, who has the coolest eyes. Oh, AND IT FEATURES FRIGGIN ZOMBIES THAT BITE PEOPLE AND PUKE BLOOD.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Once…by myself…at night…not a good idea.

* Time collecting dust: 7 years since I’ve last touched it. It shouldn't be another 7 years again.

* What I thought of the movie: An excellent and smart horror film and highly recommended. I’ve seen the “virus gets loose…many people die in an icky way” type movies before but this one is done very well. What’s amazing is the scenery featuring the city of London and the England countryside. They somehow made it possible to film London completely deserted. There’s also some crunching violence too.

* The Cast: Cillian Murphy was the best known actor (he was the Scarecrow in “Batman Begins” and the bad guy in the slightly underrated thriller “Red Eye”). Everyone else is pretty much unknown except for two of those “hey it’s that guy!”…1.) the guy who played Destro in the childhood destroying live action movie “GI Joe” and 2.) The guy who play Jack Nicholson’s right hand man in “The Departed” (he gets shot in the car by the cops at the end).




Favorite Scene: It’s towards the beginning…when Cillian Murphy’s character wakes up from a coma and slowly realizes the entire city of London is completely deserted.

Previous Movie: 25th Hour
Next Movie: 28 Weeks Later

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hidden Gem

I really like this song. From the classic AM radio era.



The chorus will be in my head all weekend now.

"Loooooooove takes time...and its haaaaaaaaard to find....you gotta taaaaaaaaake some time".

If you take the singer out of the equation, it sounds like a bad 1980's TV theme song.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 20 - "Big Love" by Fleetwood Mac




I became a HUGE fan of Fleetwood Mac while I was in college. Though I had known most of their radio friendly songs, I never really got into Stevie Nicks and that whole California sound they and the Eagles had going. Then, I watched "The Dance", their 1997 reunion program they did for MTV. For some reason, their guitar player Lindsey Buckingham just blew me away. He played without a pick, had a great growly voice, was sort of eccentric, and played the shit out of a guitar.

It was his solo acoustic performance of the song he wrote for Fleetwood Mac, "Big Love", that really sucked me in. I had forgotten about the original version of the song and tracked down the video for the 1987 original version. It's a very cool video just for the final 30 seconds alone but has lots of just strange parts along the way. Two words describe this video..."cocaine" and "cocaine". Let's take a look.



0:00 - We open with a pull back shot of a nice looking mansion. Hey, there's Mick Fleetwood, playing the drums. Too bad its a drum machine that's playing on the recorded version of this song....but you have to Mick in somewhere right?

0:13 - John McVie and Christine McVie...former married couple. I like how she tortures him by keeping his name even thought they've been divorced over 30 years now.

0:16 - Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Stevie was in the throws of cocaine addiction at the time as well as being addicted to food since she was starting to put on some weight. I love Lindsey's flattop haircut he was sporting around this time.

0:21 - So the front of the house pulls back into a shot of Lindsey singing in a window. Lindsey is probably one of the worst lip synchers ever, I'm sad to say.

0:28 - Another Lindsey appears singing. You can sort of see how bad the green screen is in this video.

0:35 - This is a cool shot...you see the band members being introduced one by one. I always liked how Lindsey got into it while playing.

0:44 - Two things I like about the band shot. Stevie Nicks just fluffing her skirt and Mick Fleetwood miming his playing to a drum machine.

0:51 - A loooooooong hallway shot of Lindsey standing very awkwardly in front of model....hey there's Mick and Stevie again!

1:06 - More of Lindsey rocking out...and by rocking out I mean literally rocking back and forth again. I tried to imitate his playing style while playing the trumpet at Boston College but was called out on this by the band director immediate. I felt like I was on cocaine while doing it (though I never tried it...Mom and Dad were good influences on me).

1:25 - Dancing was not Lindsey's strongpoint.

1:40 - Another cool shot of the band...this time by the beach. This video is all over the place.

1:49 - 1980's special effects at their best.

2:03 - More bad lip syncing and an extra head nod for effect.

2:19 - I LOVE these group shots.

2:26 - Its like the scary hallway from the movie "The Shining" has been taken over the guitar playing goblin of Lindsey Buckingham. I don't know guitar that well but his finger moving is creepy and distracting.

2:40 - This exactly how I took my wife to bed on our wedding night.

2:50 - An interesting crane shot of the house again with the band members scattered around the yard. Poor Stevie is still fluffing that skirt of hers.

3:07 - OK so this is the reason why this video got on this list. The last 30 seconds of the video is the video being run in reverse but you throw in a few shots of a terrible special effect of Lindsey and that model going "oh" "ah" to each other...before it all ending on the foyer with close up freeze frame Lindsey.

Now that is how you end a video!

Bonus video...the video that started my Fleetwood Mac fandom. Lindsey playing "Big Love" on acoustic guitar from 1997's "The Dance". One of the best guitar performances you'll see....trust me.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "25th Hour"



• Where I bought this movie: I ordered this movie from Amazon.com back in 2003 when I lived in Bayside, Queens and was at the peak of my DVD hoarding.

* Why Own It?: I can’t really tell you why I ordered this movie because I’m not a fan of Spike Lee movies. However, Edward Norton was at the peak of his acting powers and the movie was the first to deal with 9/11 showing shots of Ground Zero and the raw emotions around NYC at the time. I guess that intrigued me enough to buy it to watch it on a rainy day.

* Had I seen this movie before?: That rainy day came two years later in 2005 when I first attempted to watch every DVD I owned...but I hadn’t seen it since.

* Time collecting dust: 6 years since I’ve last touched it.

* What I thought of the movie: This has become one of my more favorite movies if mainly because of the awesome cast and a very interesting story. If you had one day left before you went to prison, what would you do? What kind of thoughts would go through your head? There aren’t too many scenes but the movie is effective in setting up the suspense of if Ed Norton’s character might make a run for it.

And the cast…one of the better casts you’ll find in a movie with a good mix of established actors at the time and some solid up and comers: Ed Norton, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Barry Pepper, Anna Paquin, Rosario Dawson, Brian Cox, and oddly enough, former football player and FOX NFL broadcaster Tony Siragusa.

I highly recommend this movie. It’s why I subconsciously bought it (hearing it was great). I still dislike Spike Lee but I don’t hate him any more. Ed Norton is the man in this movie.

Favorite Scene: There’s a lot of them but it’s a tie between the club scene (any scene with the song "White Lines" in the background is a keeper for me) and the last 5 minutes.

Previous Movie: 16 Blocks
Next Movie: 28 Days Later

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top 30 Music Vidoes of all Time - Number 21 - "Got My Mind Set On You" by George Harrison


When the Beatles met the 1980's...

This video was great for the 10 year old kid like I was when this came out (back in 1987). At the time, I loved whatever pop music was on the radio. I hadn't gotten into bands or buying cassette tapes yet (though I did get Hall and Oates "Big Bam Boom" and Huey Lewis and The News "Fore" as Christmas presents in the years prior). I certainly hadn't heard of the Beatles and this song, along with Paul McCartney's "Say Say Say" were my first exposure to Beatles music of any kind.

Anyway, up pops this video featuring an old guy in a grey sweater just sitting in a chair strumming his guitar in what looks like an old cabin somewhere. Little did I know at the time that this was George Harrison, a member of the Beatles, and he was having his first major hit in quite some time. To the 10 year old me, it was an old crazy man sitting in his house as wild things were going on around him. Let's take a look...



0:00-0:08 - This has to be one of my favorite drumbeats. It's very similar to the beginning of the band White Lion's version of the "Transformers Theme Song" from Transformers The Movie. There's a nugget for you the next time you're at a cocktail party.

0:18-0:28 - Ah yes, the immortal George Harrison...I like his look here. He reminds me of a the disheveled wacky uncle that everyone has. That sweater looks to be very worn too.

0:32-0:50 This is where things start to happen in the room...first the clock, then the swords, then some kind of statue behind George, and then the book.

1:02-1:05 Love this guy...that little Cockatoo can work it. Though I'm sure someone was behind the cage prodding him with something dangerous to make him move like that.

1:21-1:29 - Another of my favorites...love that moose and warthog. Someone must have watched this video and said "hey, let's make a restaurant off the concept of this video" and a few years later the first Rain Forest Cafe opened up.

1:32 - Not sure if George knew he was about to get blasted by pieces of paper but I like the raised eyebrow he gives here.

1:56-2:13 As a kid, this amazed me that a man that old could dance and flip around like this....but if you look closely (or really not closely at all) its a stunt double that looks like Bob Geldof.

2:29 - 2:32 - Not sure who George is looking at off camera here but it looks like he's trying to hold back a laugh.

2:40 - Have give some props to the special effects here in a pre-CGI era. Though its pretty straightforward, its neat that they had so many things moving around.

3:12 - My favorite sequence...again, I love the moose and warthog and then you get that squirrel to just blow on that peace pipe.

3:35 - Yeesh, that was a little frightening to me. I never did like bear-skinned rugs.

This whole video probably inspired Pee Wee's Playhouse...

Friday, September 16, 2011

The History Of Movies From A to Z - "16 Blocks"




From "12 Monkeys" we go to "16 Blocks"...

* Where I bought this movie: I picked up this movie back in 2008 from a Blockbuster Video when they would do their "4 movies for $30" sale. Talk about a great deal. I picked up most of my mediocre movies this way.

* Why Own It?: I think this was one of those impulse buys. I probably had three movies I really wanted to own but needed a 4th to complete the deal. This was that kind of movie to me.

* Had I seen this movie before?: No...I had it once out to watch with my wife around a year ago but we went with a terrible Kate Hudson movie instead I'm sure.

* Time collecting dust: 3 years though really only a year since I had planned to watch it a year ago...damn you Kate Hudson.

* What I thought of the movie: I'll admit, this is a pretty good movie. It stars Bruce Willis (back to back movies oddly enough) as a down on his luck cop trying to get a felon from a prison to a court house for his hearing. It's 16 blocks away, hence the name, but those 16 blocks might be miles because it takes forever for Bruce Willis to get him there. Bruce plays a similar type role as he did in "12 Monkeys" in that he looks so damn depressed in this movie. He pulls that emotion off well though.

The convict is played by actor/rapper Mos Def which probably is the worst name I've ever heard. Def is charming in his role though and I started to root for the guy at the end. In another rare back to back movie viewing experience, David Morse pops up in this movie playing a bad cop. Pretty satisfying ending on this typical predictable kind of movie.

Highly recommended if it pops up on cable one day. I'm glad I finally got to see this movie.

The Greatest Drum Fill In Music History...

...happens at the 4:35-4:37 mark.



I mean you have this great buildup from 4:20-4:35 and that's the best the drummer could come up with? "Tat-Tat"? You even get a quick shot of him doing it too.

No wonder thrash metal began right around the same time as this song.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The History Of Movies from A - Z - "12 Monkeys"



This will hopefully be the start of another running series...

From 1997-2009 I was a major movie junkie. My roommate at Boston College was the first to get a DVD player back in 1997 (paid $600 for it) and the first movie he bought was "The Professional". We must have watched that movie one hundred times. Anyway, not so far away from where I lived was a Tower Records...you know...an old school record store that sold CD's and DVD's (and magazines too!). Anyway, once I got a taste of good looking picture quality, crisp audio, and the ability to build your own movie collection, I was hooked. Over the course of the next 12 years, I amassed a DVD collection that is probably close to 1,000. A lot of it was buying new DVD's but over the past 6 years or so its been buying used DVD from either Amazon.com or video stores like Blockbuster.

Here's the problem...I have so many movies, I don't know what to do with them. Most of them, I've never even seen. My wife brings it up every now and then to me that I have a custom shelved closet for the DVD's and all they do is collect dust. So I came to conclusion that I am going to watch EVERY SINGLE DVD starting with the beginning of the alphabet. I don't care how long it takes or how bad the movie is...I am going to spend the 2 hours and watch every damn movie.

I actually tried doing this back in 2003 and made it pretty far (the letter "G") but I've since bought another couple of hundred movies so I'm going to restart the process.

My reviews will be different. First they will be short. There will be five pieces of info given. 1.) When, where and how I bought this movie.; 2.) Why did I find this movie desirable to own.; 3.) Had I even seen this movie before; 4.) How long had it been collecting dust on my shelf before watching it.; 5.) What I actually thought of the movie.

Since I have some movies that begin with numbers, I decided to start there....first up "12 Monkeys"

* Where I bought this movie: I picked up this movie back in 2009 when the Hollywood Video near me when out of business. They had a fire sale on all of their pre-owned movies and I picked this up for a cool $2. It's probably the dirtiest DVD I own in terms of several stainson it and the box is slightly torn.

* Why Own It?: Well, it starred Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis for one. It was in the golden sci-fi era of the late 90's. Plus Brad Pitt got an Oscar nomination for playing a crazy person. It also was directed by Terry Gilliam who at the time was very good at making movies that liked to scramble your brain. It seemed to be a cult favorite too so that intrigued me.

* Had I seen this movie before?: Nope...the very first movie sitting in my collection for the last two years and I haven't picked it up once to watch.

* Time collecting dust: 2 years

* What I thought of the movie: I liked it...a little confusing at times and sadly the ending was a little predictable once you pull all of the pieces together. Time travel movies can be fun if pulled off right. I love the character actor David Morse so it was cool to see him in an early role as a bad guy (he played a cop in 90% of the movies he was in). All in all, I was impressed. A good "transition" movie for Bruce Willis as he started going away from action star to more of an actor.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Top 30 Music Videos Of All Time - Number 22 - "Touch Of Grey" by The Grateful Dead




I almost forgot about this video. I heard this song on the radio the other day and forgot how light and upbeat this song was. Then I remembered the video for it featuring skeleton versions of the Grateful Dead and knew I had a lost hidden gem here.

Full disclosure...the Grateful Dead is not my kind of band. I'm not really into the jam bands and prefer songs with more of a melody. These three guys who lived next to me freshman year would always blast this 25 minute live version of a Grateful Dead song "Fire On The Mountain". Then, any time I would hang out with them, one of them would randomly go "Firreeeeeee.....Fire on the mountaaaaaaainnnn". Needless to say, I am not friends with any of those people.

Anyway, "Touch Of Grey" was the band's only top 10 hit and probably their most "poppy" song. I like "Uncle John's Band" but that fits the more country rockish type of the 70's. This was the only music video the Grateful Dead ever made apparently...talk about banging in and out on a high note. Let's take a closer look.



0:00 - I have never been to a Grateful Dead show but they do seem to put on a nice light show. Notice the late 80's effects of human hands becoming skeleton hands. Somewhere James Cameron was nodding in appreciation that effects got better since his horrible attempt to make skeletons move in the original Terminator movie.

0:18 - Ah yes, the stereotypical Dead Heads. You see fleeting glimpses of them throughout the video but the tie dye shirt was the badge of a Grateful Dead fan.

0:30 - Its hard to tell here if Jerry Garcia is human and the rest of the band are skeletons. The early flow of this video is thrown off a bit by lack of consistency. Yes, I take these observations very seriously.

0:42 - Now we're in full skeleton mode. Love the bass picking skeleton hands.

0:49 - Probably my favorite skeleton...the keyboard playing guy. He gets the most herky jerky moves.

1:03 - I have to admit, the way the skeleton moves are pretty darn cool. Love the drummer smoking a cigarette.

1:31 - My favorite GD band member has always been Bob Weir. I can't tell you why but it was probably because of his skeleton. Check out that groove he has going on.

2:02 - Love the drum fill.

2:06 - I like the strings used to move the skeleton are just in plain sight. No green screen back then to remove them.

2:25 - No we're getting a little random.

2:35 - The one shot I always remembered and laughed at as a kid...that dog with the drummer's leg in its mouth cracks me up every time.

2:55 - Ahhh...the illusions ends and the real band members arrive. I lose interest in the video at this point and that's what knocks the video down a few notches. A solid video is solid all the way through or at least has a great storyline. Still this one had a unique idea and they carried it out awesomely.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bruce Springsteen Workout Video

Happy August all. I will finish the top 30 video countdown sooner than later. Updating this website is like me going to the gym...I'll do it for two weeks straight and then take two months off.

Anyway, this video recently hit the Internet. It's an alternate video of Bruce Springsteen's video "Dancing In The Dark". The original version of this video is a little goofy in itself with Bruce's flailing arm movements but at least he has the band around him doing the same thing. In this video, its just him except for the very end where Clarence Clemmons appears playing his solo in an odd red suit. There are three takes so you get to see Bruce try and outdo his terrible dancing in each one.

Anyway, it reminds me of an old workout video so perhaps I can kill two birds with one stone by updating the website while doing the Bruce Springsteen herky jerky dance moves.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Top 30 All Time Video Countdown - Number 23 "High Hopes" by Pink Floyd


This is probably the only video on this list where none of the band appears. It's a good thing though as it would completely ruin the mood of the song itself. Pink Floyd was one of those bands that became famous before the dawn of music videos so when they reunited (minus Roger Waters of course) in the late 80's and 90's their videos were either a concert type video or this one..."High Hopes".

"High Hopes" is a perfect song. You have church bells, thick sounding acoustic guitars, a drumline rhythm pattern, and one of the best slide guitar solos ever.

I'm not going to comment on this video as it goes along...this is a video you just let breath. The best natural scenery and images made for a video (guitars floating down stream, rolling fruit, men on stilts, glowing balls being thrown around a circle, balloons rolling down a dirt road, and giant head statues)....it makes want to visit the English countryside.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Top 30 All Time Video Countdown - Number 24 "Wrapped Around Your Finger" by The Police


I have a soft spot for number 24. I am a HUGE fan of the Police, can play a few of their songs on bass, and am a big fan of Sting's ego. Yes, Sting had one of the largest egos of just about anybody back in the early 80's. It's the main reason why the Police broke up in the first place. Anyway, after becoming more and more popular album by album, the Police were the biggest band in the world when their Synchronicity album dropped in 1983.

Just about every song on the record (except for one of their worst songs, "Mother") is a classic. Of course there's "Every Breath You Take" but you also have "King Of Pain", "Synchronicity II", "O My God", and my favorite Police song, "Wrapped Around Your Finger".

The video for "Every Breath You Take" is probably the most famous Police video due to its cool look and being in black and white. I just love the mood and atmosphere of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" better. Its shot in half speed and I'm a sucker for super slow motion. The candles add a unique look and Sting rocks the sunglasses as well as probably some kind of cocaine ingestion as his dancing gets more frantic as the video progresses.

Let's take a look.



0:00 What starts as a single candle being lit shows you a huge room of candles. Love the beginning of this song too. I think its just some synthesizers but the sounds and mood they set are amazing.

0:17 - Sting was a bit of a ham on stage but instead of making poses and guitar faces, he loved to jump around. Hence, the first time you see him here he's just doing that....in fact he never stops moving the entire video.

0:34 - Once of the best drummers ever, Stuart Copeland. What makes this video even more special is that when they shot it, the band had to play and lip sync to it double time so when they slow it down, it looks normal. That's hard to pull off on the drums here.

0:41 - Andy Summers...he was 10 years older than Sting and Stuart but fit in perfectly. Love his little jumping move here too.

1:19 - Another move I will attempt at the next wedding I go to. I will look completely stupid.

1:40 - Love the face Stuart makes when he hits the cymbals.

1:42 - I'm not sure what Sting is waving around in his hand but its probably not a good idea with all of those candles around.

1:58 - Love the slight stumble when he comes out of his jump here. That would be a 5.6 if it was a gymnastics competition landing. "Good technique but you HAVE to stick that landing!".

2:03 - Sting's dancing gets more spastic as the video progresses.

3:06 - Just a neat shot to show how big the room is. Chances are they used mirrors but I didn't care about this when I was 7 years old.

3:14 - The cocaine must be kicking in as Sting starts getting more hyped up running around.

3:39 - The famous "whacking the candles" shot. Notice how Sting knocks one over with his backswing.

3:55 - If only I could dance around playing the guitar in half time...

4:18 - One last look of the room....

4:37 - ...before Sting starts running around and dismantling the place.

4:43 - More of a music thing than anything else...I love that little bass slap Sting throws in here.

This is definitely a video where the song matches the mood of it perfectly.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Top 30 All Time Video Countdown - Number 25 "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All" by Air Supply


A questionable choice for number 25 today, I agree. In fact, I had never seen the video for this song growing up until recently when I purchased "Air Supply - A Video History" on Amazon.com for $2.99 a few months ago...I love buying things used. Sure they had some of the corniest songs ever created and yes some of those same songs were the background to many conceptions...but to say Air Supply has a surprisingly decent video? The answer is a resounding YES.

To preface this video you need to know who Air Supply is. It's basically a two man band. There's the tall blond haired guy who wrote most of the songs and plays the guitar. The other guy is short and has an awesome afro. Not so awesome is his voice which is unique but not in the best way. Also keep in mind that this video was filmed in 1983 when cocaine use was peaking and its okay for your boyfriend to shag groupies on a regular basis as long as he plays a good guitar solo.

Let's take a look...



0:05- The video starts with one of those awesome extended intros with the blond haired guitar player saying goodbye to his girlfriend. "Time for another tour babe!", he says though it seems he wants to get her to go with him and she wants him to stay...isn't that the basis for 90% of all arguments in a relationship? Love the prop plane by the way.

0:22 - There he is...the VOICE.

0:27 - Love the jarring cut here. This guy is a natural for waking up suddenly in the middle of the night after shagging another groupie.

0:37 - Love how the groupie sleeps with her legs and arms spread apart. Even better is the guitar player's reaction to waking up to her. What's most disturbing is that he keeps a picture of his girlfriend on the nightstand next to him.

0:49 - 1983 special effects alert! The "picture" comes to life to show you a "memory" the guitar player is having. Somewhere Peter Gabriel was watching this and it he began writing the video for "Sledgehammer".

1:03 - That's a man's man right there. The girlfriend won't kiss you so you just turn, walk away, and not look back to get into your personal private plane. That's friggin awesome.

1:12 - Another great special effect. The "airplane window" opens up into another video showing the band "performing"...on a barren sound stage.

1:21 - He must have been taking off from JFK because it was broad daylight when he got in the plane and now its nearly pitch black by the time the plane takes off.

1:29 - My second favorite part of the video. What is the rest of the band jamming to in the background? More syrupy love songs? Even better is when the lead singer starts to serenade the guitar player while he takes out a picture which turns into another Stan Winston Oscar winning effect.

1:52 - Love the dirty old street vendor ruining a tender moment by giving them a disease infested flower. Even better, he kisses the old lady. You can see the moment when her lady parts start to moisten up.

2:06 - Time to hit the stage and HEY, its the backup singers in the song getting crammed into a quick cameo. The one on the left makes the most of it.

2:19 - Another 1983ish special effect. Director: "Alright, let's put the girl on a merry go round and just hold the camera on her". I will take a moment to admit this girl is smoking hot for 1983....probably for 2011 as well.

2:40 - For a guy who seems to have no problem cheating on his girlfriend, he sure lives a boring life on the road and doesn't seem much fun to be around. He stares out the seat of the window on the airplane, doesn't interact muchwith the band, and now he just sits in a darkened room looking at a picture of his girlfriend that's about 30 feet away from him.

2:52 - The shot her smiling into a scowl was the basis of many nightmares for me as a kid. I hated those dreams where the happy looking picture got angry and came to life and started stalking me...yes, I might need therapy.

2:58 - Classic bad 80's video rock star posing.

3:09 - That is how I would pack my bags if I wasn't married...thankfully I am.

3:36 - Notice the fact that she's driving in a car while the boyfriend has left in an airplane. Also notice we're nearing the end of the song.

3:45 - Love the terrible acting. "Sure my boyfriend sleeps with other women on the road but gosh darn it his guitar sounds great on my AM radio. All is forgiven."

4:11 - After a completely illegal turn she's off to the airport.

4:19 - For the first time in the video, the guitar player is SMILING. He just realized "Hey now, I don't need this girl, I got my band, endless drugs, booze, and women, AND I just co-wrote a future number one song...F' her"

4:28 - Not so fast! I love his reaction when he sees her. He sort of makes a weird guitar face. Oh and by the way...HOW THE HELL DID SHE GET THERE SO FAST?!?!?

4:38 - One of the cheesiest shots in music video history. The guitar player mouthing "I love you"...over the singer's shoulder.

4:44 - My favorite part of the video. The reunited couple dance under the same strobe lighting that Michael Jackson used for his "Rock With You" video.

4:48 - That open mouthed kiss is awesome for 1983.

4:52 - Did he just stroke her breast? Is she wearing a bra? Where is her left hand? Damn!!!

There you have it folks...not a completely great video but very underrated storyline for 1983 and therefore a welcome edition to this countdown.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Completely Biased List of The Top 30 Music Videos Of All Time - Number 26- "Step By Step" by The New Kids On The Block



Number 26 is definitely a odd choice, I'll give you that...but wait until the end before you pass judgment.

The New Kids On The Block were THE boy band of the late 80's and early 90's. While African-Americans had New Edition, white people had NKTOB. I'll admit I liked a few of their more up tempo songs like "Step By Step" and "The Right Stuff" but I also despised their ballads like "Please Don't Go Girl" and "I'll Be Loving You Forever". In the middle you had pretty bad 80's songs like "Hanging Tough" and "Cover Girl". Anyway, "Step By Step" seems to have (baaaarely) stood the test of time and is the one song that could come out today and maybe crack the top 100.

"Step By Step" tells the story about a guy trying to gain the attention of a girl (just about the plot of 90% of all songs). In the middle of it though, there is one of the greatest breakdowns in music history where the New Kids tell the girl there are five steps to fall in love. They seem pretty straight forward.

Step 1.) Indicate to her that they can have some fun.
Step 2.) Reinforce that there is much they can do together
Step 3.) Remind her that its just the guy and the girl together...no annoying parents to interefere.
Step 4.) The guy can give her more than any other guy
Step 5.) The time is now for them to fall in love

That seems pretty simple.... However, I came up with five step to kill yourself after hearing this song for the first time. Match it up to the music...its perfect.

Step ONE....you can take a gun.
Step TWO....point it at you
Step THREE...scream out "I HATE MEEEEE!!!!"
Step FOUR...blow your brains out on the floor
Step FIVE...don't you know you're no longer aliiiiive
"Huuuuh"

Anyway, let's take a look at this video...



0:00 - 0:16 Ah yes, the old "behind the scenes at the video shoot" and "tour video diary" type video. You know, the one where there are quick cuts, the band is laughing, and everybody is yukking it up for the camera. We begin with some acapella and slow motion shots of the band. My favorite is the one Donnie Wahlberg jumping over the drum set...not sure what he's trying to prove there.

0:17 - 0:24 I like the stairwell shot because dancing on a stairwell is very practical.

0:25 - 0:33 The dance move that swelled a million teenage girls hearts. Yes, its terrible, but if I could whip those moves out at a wedding, I'd be the star of the night.

0:34- 0:47 - A little bit of freestyling dance moves and some slight posing take us to...

0:48 - 1:03 - The first verse. Again, more behind the scenes shots (Donnie Wahlberg on a motorcycle...Ooooo dangerous!) and more quick shots of the band on a sound stage.

1:03-1:04 - Did the New Kids originate the "Running Man" dance move? I can't remember how that started. With the entire band doing it, they should call it the "Running Men" or "Running Kids".

1:05-1:34 - More quick shots of Danny Wood pumping iron and does Jordan Knight imitate Michael Jackson at every opportunity in this video?

1:36 - Joey McIntyre did not just do the sprinkler head did he?

1:42 - The "I'm trying to jog forward but its so windy out" dance move.

2:22 - "And the Grammy for best special effect goes to...." Love how one New Kid is in color and the other is in black and white. Cutting edge.

2:29 - Alright Donnie, now you're just showing off. The drum set and the random guitar player?

2:39 - Not sure what kind of workout move this is. This what I do with my 3 Wood on the first tee to stretch my back out to play golf.

2:46 - The greatest voice in rock history...Danny Wood! Listen to the vibrato, the silky smoothness, the way he enunciates "fun". Yes Danny, we CAN have lots of fun...

2:52 - You can hear Donnie's vocal range max out on the word "much" when his voice gets a little raspy.

2:55 - Oh boy...

2:59 - You sure gave them more Joey...you sure did.

3:03 - Yes! The shy, quiet, gay New Kid gets involved.

3:07 - Overalls and violins in the same shot. Other than "Come On Eileen", you will never see this in a music video again.

3:12 - 3:18 Dance solo?

3:28 - More stairwell dancing...love it.

3:39 - Now multiple New Kids are black and white and Donnie is in color. What was the budget for this video?

4:11 - The classic being serious and then breaking out laughing shot. Janet Jackson mastered these.

4:19 - How many times can Joe just spin around in a tuxedo in the entire video. You see a quick shot of him almost looking pissed at the camera at the end of that last spin. "YOUR SOUL IS MINE JOEY MCINTYRE!!!" laughs Satan.

4:26 - The most random shot to end a boy band video. Donnie eating an apple...

I'm off tomorrow...more to come next week. Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Completely Biased List of The Top 30 Music Videos Of All Time - Number 27 - "I Stay Away" by Alice In Chains



In my best Kasey Kasem voice "and now let's get to the countdown"...

I'm a big fan of video gimmicks and one that isn't used enough anymore is claymation...well, I guess it really wasn't used a lot to begin with. The only claymation I can remember was mainly done by Peter Gabriel and Green Jelly.

Anyway, "I Stay Away" was off the EP Jar Of Flies. I remember buying this and wondering what an EP is. An LP is a "long playing" record so an EP is an "extended play" record. Anyway, Jar Of Flies and U2's Zooropa were probably the biggest EP's in the last 25 years...but I digress.

The song itself is one of my favorites featured a little of the old "light and shade"...love the string arrangement mixed in with the crunchy guitars. "I Stay Away" featured claymation versions of the band working in and around a travelling circus. I always thought the claymation version of Layne Stanley was pretty cool. Let's take a deeper look.



0:00 -0:49 The video opens with a little travelling bus with a kid holding, pausing for irony...a jar of flies. It looks like Alice In Chains is also on the bus sleeping off another bender.

0:50 - 0:52 For some reason the band finds themselves hanging out in a circus in the middle of nowhere. The band must be dying of heat exhaustion wearing those grunge era outfits.

0:53 - 1:01 Here are some of the circus characters. I love the lion tamer. With his one good eye, you'd think he would have bad depth perception when he whips the lions...then again, you'll see what ultimately happens to him at the end of the video.

1:02 - 1:11 I have no idea what this person is supposed to be. Is it a man or a lady? Are those real breasts? Is that seal sitting next to him/her...and doesn't the seal need to be in water to survive?

1:12-1:25 - Love the out of control clown car.

1:25 - 1:44 Now things start to go wrong...the lion is getting fired up. I love the bulging eye. Nice shadowing claymation showing the lion ripping the trainer apart.

1:45 - 1:53 An homage to Genesis' "Land Of Confusion" with the extreme closeups of the band members' faces?

2:00 - 2:21 - Say goodbye to motorcycle guy.

2:42 - 2:46 Though the flies have nothing to do with it, these three clowns just lay into each other.

2:57 - Love the elephant getting fiesty

3:10- A knife to the face is never good.

3:15 - 3:56 - Now the clown car started a fire....at least the clowns show remorse

3:56 - end - There's the trouble maker the started it all.

So looking back, we saw a lion tamer mauled by a lion, a knife thrower murder his wife, a trapeze artist fall and break her neck, a clown get knocked unconscious, and the motorcycle stunt man probably die....plus the seal now no longer has any water source so he probably died too.

Grunge music at its bleak best...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Clarence Clemons



I preface this by saying I'm not a big Bruce Springsteen fan. I love the Born In The USA album but like very little else (though "Hungry Heart" is one of the best summer BBQ songs ever made).

Anyway, I was sad to hear the passing of E Street Band member Clarence Clemons. The first thing that surprised me was that he was 69 years old. That means he was in his early 40's when Born In The USA came out. I never noticed that. Anyway, here are the three things I'll always remember him by in descending order.

3.) The "you better be good for goodness sake" line in Bruce Springsteen's version of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town".

2.) His cheesy video he did for his hit with Jackson Browne "You're A Friend Of Mine". Don't say I didn't warn you...I surprised he and Jackson Browne didn't start making out at some point. See below.



1.) The above two might be his most mainstream success but I will forever remember him as the sax playing teacher who tries to help Arnold Jackson get affection from a girl he likes in the classic show Diff'rent Strokes. Sadly this episode aired during the final season of Diff'rent Strokes when it was in its death throes. By now, Willis and Kimberly were hard to find in any episodes...they brought in that annoying Sam character. And even Dixie Carter knew well enough to jump off a sinking ship. God bless Conrad Bain for hanging in there.

Anyway, here's the majority of the episode. Through the beauty of You Tube, some die hard fan posted nearly the entire episode.





Some strange things to note here.

1.) Arnold is looking old.
2.) Clarence is bad ass with his flat top haircut.
3.) The band seen around the 2:45 mark, features Wayne, the older brother in The Wonder Years.
4.) Around the 3:15 mark, Arnold is probably a foot shorter (and probably in real life 10 years older) than the girl he likes.
5.) The Sam character needed to be severly injured at some point.
6.) At the 9:04 mark, you witness the 80's in all its glory. If Wayne is really playing the guitar and dancing like that at the same time, I'm very impressed.
7.) The 9:35 mark shows that yes, you can really get girls by finding a world famous sax player to mime a part for you at a junior high dance by standing just out of site behind the curtain.

I'll admit, I just scanned through the clip...you get the gist of it. I was more excited to find the clip than actually watch it.

Irony reels its ugly head again...A man on the show Diff'rent Strokes dies due to complications from suffering...a stroke.

Anyway, R.I.P. Big Man...