Tag Archives: TV

Newly Acquired DVDs for July

In the midst of getting cuaght up on everything, I relaized that I have not updated you guys on my latest DVD acquisitions.

Around the end of June, I was frustrated with the game of poker — cards were good, players were not.  In any case, after leaving a venue, I went to Target to do some grocery shopping.  On sale was the following DVD and it had a bonus DVD.

  • The Grand — A structured improv-based movie by Cheryl Hines surrounding a poker tournament.  Supposedly the outcome of the cards dictated the storylines.
  • Poker for Dummies — Do I really need to make a joke?  As a matter of fact, I challenge you to post your best joke about this (and don’t worry if it makes me look bad)

Then we have the week that “The Dark Knight” came out, which led to a slew of Batman-related items at Best-Buy.

  • Batman Begins — a special box set for Best-Buy that included items from both movies and a cool Bat-logo USB key.
  • Birds of Prey — The complete TV series on DVD.  Aired originally on the WB, it lasted one season.
  • Batman: Gotham Knight — A collection of 6 animated stories relating to Batman’s early career.

To see more details on these acquisitions, check out my collection page by clicking the link in the right-hand column…

For The Last Time, The Balcony Is Closed

Last year, I wrote an editorial regarding a dispute between Roger Ebert and Disney regarding the use of the “Thumbs” — In it, I expressed a desire to see Roger’s wish fulfilled of the everyone reuniting.

Unfortunately, it did not happen…

As noted in Roger Moore’s blogAin’t It Cool News, and Roger Ebert’s site, “Ebert & Roeper” (formally “Siskel & Ebert”) is no more.  Disney, Ebert, and Roeper could not come to agreement on several matters.  Roeper’s parting is noted in this article in the Chicago Sun-Times .

So it is with a whimper that an institution that changed the career paths for many reviewers and inspired many fans like me to enjoy the theater experience ends…

I do hope that Roger Ebert continues to inspire a love for movies for many and that he finds another way to reach the TV audience.

Unfortunately, I am upset at Disney for letting this die.  While I have been happy with most of the post-Eisner decisions, this one boggles me.  First they play hardball with the people who own the trademark and gave them this fruitful enterprise.  Then they refuse to come to terms with Roeper.  While I may not be a big fan of his, Roeper has done alright holding down the fort for Roger.  Disney had a prime opportunity to celebrate the ending in style if they wanted to end things — now it is marred with backstage talk of contract squabbles…

Until Gene and Roger are reunited in Heaven, the balcony remains closed…

Harvey Korman, 1927-2008

Growing up, I watched a lot of TV.  I had a steady diet of The Flintstones and The Carol Burnett Show, thanks to TBS.  This is how I was introduced to the comedic genius of Harvey Korman.  As The Great Gazoo on The Flintstones, I simply knew him as a little green alien that had a wonderful way of calling Fred “Dum-Dum.”  The droll way he let it roll off the tongue was masterful.  Then I saw him on the Carol Burnett Show.  It was there that he formed a real-life Mutt & Jeff team with Tim Conway.  Much like Hardy and Abbott, Korman was the straight man to Conway’s Laurel and Costello.

As I got older, I saw Korman in Blazing Saddles and it was as if I was watching The Great Gazoo onscreen, with a little more villainy thrown in; I also enjoyed him in Radioland Murders.  Sadly, there were not many on-screen performances from him over the past 20-25 years.

Hopefully he is on a cloud somewhere, hovering above the voice of Fred Flintstone, still calling him “Dum-Dum” while waiting for his buddy, Tim…

Brain Candy (Kids in the Hall)

Lorne Michaels has that ability to find comedic talent and turn it into gold.  Even in down years, his time with SNL is better than the few years they were without him.  In the 90’s, he challenged himself by taking 5 young men under his wing and forming a new comedy troupe.  This troupe would play all of the parts on the show, including the women.  Thus, Kids in the Hall was born.

After 4-5 seasons and countless reruns on Comedy Central, the Kids made a movie.  The movie is built on the story of a drug being developed that allows you to always be happy.  Over the course of the movie, you also see a tale of power corruption, unrequited love, drug company corruption, and Cancer Boy.  Interwoven with the main story are the little snippets of stories of users of the new drugs.

The DVD had no extras, not even a trailer.

My advice: If you like Kids in the Hall, then you will like this movie.  If not or you have not watched them before, then pick a time when you want to watch something quirky.

Suzanne Pleshette, 1937-2008

Men may go after the “traditional” trophy-wife looking woman, but they are always interested in those that show a little backbone.

Disney and Bob Newhart are responsible for introducing me to Suzanne Pleshette.  Wait, that’s not exactly correct — My parents insisted on watching two things early in my life that introduced me to her.  Blackbeard’s Ghost was a fun Disney movie with Dean Jones and Peter Ustinov that my mom loved.  In this movie, Pleshette played the woman fought over by Jones and the villain.  At the same time, TBS aired nightly reruns of The Bob Newhart Show, which my parents always had on.  Here, Pleshette’s Emily advanced how women were played as wives in sitcoms, actually laying groundwork for Roseanne and company in later years.  The common thread for the two roles is that she never backed down from a challenge and refused to wait on the sidelines to be rescued.  At some point, I have to watch The Birds — for several reasons.

Here’s to a funny lady that I was lucky enough to grow up watching — Hopefully, she and Blackbeard’s Ghost are out having fun…