Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eye Candy For Halloween

Here are some suggestions for odd, strange
and interesting movies or shows that might
go well with Halloween, along with other

Mad Monster Party-1968
Directed by Jules Bass

The original stop-motion
nightmare that came before
Christmas. Maybe more of
a fever dream than a

Look for "Monster Squad" as
an alternate if you can't find
this one.

Directed by John Woo

Not really related to the
season, but does involve
mask-wearing, so to speak.

Look for Nicolas Cage in "8mm" or
"Wild At Heart" as alternates.

The Dark Crystal-1982
Directed by Jim Henson/Frank Oz

The Muppets on mind-altering
drugs. So many practical effects
that still look cool.

If you're tired of this
one, go directly to "Labyrinth".

Directed by Dave McKean

Written by Neil Gaiman, produced
by Jim Henson's company. So many
unique CG effects that look cool.

Go to "Stardust" for a Neil-penned

Directed by Tim Burton

It's not possible to leave
Tim off the list. You've seen
"Edward Scissorhands" enough,

For a more violent Burton, go
to "Sleepy Hollow".

Directed by David Lynch

Like eating a whole bag
of candy corn--do you feel
sick? Possibly a sugar rush?

Go to "Twin Peaks" or "Blue
Velvet" for other brushes with

Return To Oz-1985
Directed by Walter Murch

The definitive Oz movie.

Perhaps "The Neverending Story"
holds more memories for you.

The Fly-1986
Directed by David Cronenberg

More romantic and sad
then you might have
remembered. Still very

Go to "Dead Ringers" or
"eXistenZ" for more trippiness.

Amazing Stories-1985
"Mummy, Daddy" directed by William
Dear (Season 1)
"Go To The Head Of The Class"
directed by Robert Zemeckis (S2)

Go to "Twilight Zone-The Movie"
for more serialized twitchy tales.

The Frighteners-1996
Directed by Peter Jackson

A trick-or-treat bag cross-section.
Comedic, philosophical, gross,

Go to "Dead Alive" for more
funny/gory scares, or "Heavenly
Creatures" for murderers.

Of course there are so many
more. There's always next year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I have observed many people "texting" each other,
and have wanted to follow suit but it is not
in my cellphone plan. So that makes it an
upgrade product for me, along with digital
cable, HD radio, premium gas and "Super Sizing".

I like the idea of sending abbreviated thoughts,
but I think it would be cooler if it was based
on Morse Code, Latin or stenographer's shorthand.
You would have to learn how to text in school,
like typing. Then the skill could crossover
into a real-world application or career,
like a court position or the medical field.

I wonder what the text abbreviations look like in
other languages.

It would be cool if you could switch to other
text "fonts", like 'hobo signs', 'Greek alphabet',
'wingdings' or 'punctuation only'. Then people
would be forced to think about how to communicate
without plain letters. Emoticons are about
the closest text messaging gets to creativity.

I think Prince should get royalties from
the texting community, because song listings
from his albums reveal the foundation of
the form.

It would be cool if future phones could
use their internal camera to recognize
American Sign Language (faster to sign
than type, plus no keyboard needed).
This would allow texters the chance
to learn a whole new way of communicating
with their fellow humans, not just
an abbreviated form of one they know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Hulk Goes Ape In NYC

Watched "The Incredible Hulk" on DVD recently.
Thought it was a solid effort, with CG that
reminded me of Peter Jackson's "King Kong"
in some spots. There's a sequence with
the Hulk and Betty Ross that reminded
me of the sunset sequence in Kong.

Add this movie to the growing list of
cinematic smash 'em ups in NYC (all three
Spider-Man movies, Cloverfield, I Am
Legend to name a few.)

Some nice nods to the TV series,
such as Bill Bixby appearing on television
in Bruce Banner's Brazilian apartment, Lou
Ferrigno making a quick appearance, along with
the haunting "Lonely Man" theme in the
soundtrack. I also thought I heard a
campus reporter referred to as "McGee".

A brief reference to purple stretch pants
was funny, and a close-up of Banner's
glowing green eyes during transformation
brought back memories of the TV series
as well.

This past summer Hulk was the id,
Iron Man the ego. Perhaps we'll see
Captain America as the super-ego soon?

Marvel Studios seems to be on a roll,
but I'm still looking forward to the
"Watchmen" along with Frank Miller's
version of "The Spirit".

Saturday, October 18, 2008


October 18th is "Home Movie Day" for many people
around the world. This occasion celebrates
the classic 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm films that
families produced during the past 40 years.
These movies have chronicled epic birthday parties,
breathtaking trips to the beach or Disney World and
other life events. Inevitably there was a lot of waving
at the camera because the films lacked sound.

One of the most fun parts of watching a home
movie was rewatching it backwards after the
film had ended. This is hard to simulate
with modern video cameras, because a celluloid movie's
playback is at the correct frame-rate, not "rewound" or
"fast forwarded" like video, which loses frames.

A cool example would be someone diving into a
pool. Backwards, the person emerges from the
water like a missile from a submarine.

Here is a link to the official HMD website for the
whole world:


Neal Hefti, composer, arranger and jazz trumpeter passed away
on October 15, 2008. He wrote the theme for "The Odd Couple"
as well as the 1960's Batman TV series title tune, along with
many other compositions for TV and cinema.

Friday, October 17, 2008

She Blinded Me With Candles

Thomas Dolby turned 50 on October 14th.
He talks about it in his Blog:

Happy birthday, Thomas!