Wednesday, November 28, 2012

George Harrison and his Aston Martin

This groovy pic is currently on display at some highfalutin gallery in London. George did love cars and racing. One of the many cool things about him. Such a complex guy.
From the hair and clothes, I'd say this was taken in 1965, around the time of the Help! movie.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Avengers Movie - It's Okay (I Guess)

I finally got around to watching The Avengers movie. I used to run out and see the Marvel Comics movies when they first came out. But over the years, and with the advent of so much CGI in films, I'm not that interested anymore. It feels artificial. Like I'm watching a cartoon.

Also, as I've said before, I'm tired of 'origin' stories and most of them are just that.

And of course, The Avengers is yet again another origin yarn. And a lot of the action, especially the final battle, looks like a cartoon. The Hulk looks fake and so does Iron Man in a lot of the scenes.

The Avengers has one great thing going for it: The cast. A fabulous, very likable group of actors. So even though the script is boring and the fight scenes monotonous, I enjoyed watching the actors.

My favorite era for the Avengers comics was during the late-60's when Roy Thomas was writing and John Buscema was drawing it. If a movie could capture that feel, it would knock everybody's socks off.

Paul Back on SNL for Christmas

Paul McCartney will be making his fourth SNL appearance on December 15th. Martin Short is the guest host. Two of my favorite performers!

It will be great to see Paul do the show again. I hope he participates in a skit or two. But it will be hard to top the Chris Farley one. Classic.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Paul Talks About John (and other stuff)

At times it seems that Paul has run out of 'Beatles stuff' to talk about. His commentary on 'Magical Mystery Tour', for example, is full of stories I've heard before. And the sad thing is, I was pretty much expecting just that.

But he does say a few interesting things about John Lennon in this new interview. Check it out, Pilgrim!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'Ballad of John and Yoko' Pics

Some interesting 'The Ballad of John and Yoko' picture sleeve outtakes. I think Linda took the pics that day. They were done in Paul's backyard.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

'Bewitched' on Logo

Last night I'm channel surfing and run across 'Bewitched' reruns on Logo. Why is 'Bewitched' on the channel that is geared toward gay, lesbian and the LGBT community?

I suppose it could be because Elizabeth Montgomery was an early champion of gay rights. Or is it because 'Bewitched' also had a couple of gay stars, Dick Sargent and Paul Lynde? Or is it because Elizabeth Montgomery is one of the most attractive TV stars of all time and her appeal goes beyond the heterosexual men demographic? Maybe it's all of the above?

Either way, I found it interesting. They showed three episodes, none featuring Paul Lynde but all of them were Dick Sargent episodes.

Here's a cool pic of Liz and Paul Lynde on 'Password'. Looks like they are having fun.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

'The Girl' vs. 'Hitchcock'

I really enjoyed the HBO movie, 'The Girl'. Toby Jones was super in the role of Alfred Hitchcock.

Jones also did a bang-up job as Truman Capote in the film Infamous. At the time, the movie was overshadowed by another film about the famous writer, Capote, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. Hoffman went on to win the Best Actor Oscar.

How ironic is it that Jones is again playing a real person just as another movie about the same person is being released? And that the other movie is also starring an Oscar winner?

But his competition, the Anthony Hopkins' film, Hitchcock, looks lousy. I've only seen the previews, but Hopkins isn't very convincing and the movie itself seems silly compared to 'The Girl', which examined Hitchcock's weird obsession with Tippi Hedren.

Hitchcock is about the making of Psycho and the previews are marketing it as though Hitchcock was doing something risky by making it. I'm not convinced.

All films are 'battles', especially the good ones. But Alfred Hitchcock was one of the most famous directors at the time. He was a 'franchise' with a TV show, a magazine and paperback books all using his image as their main selling point. And he had recent hit movies like Rear Window and North By Northwest.

I'm not really that interested in watching Hitch's phony 'struggle' to get Psycho to the big screen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I'm Tired of 'The Walking Dead'

'The Walking Dead' has worn out its welcome with me. The violence is just too much. They have gone completely over-the-top with the gore. I see no reason and have no desire to watch that much blood and that many brains being bashed in week after week.

And where does it end? It just has to get more and more gruesome, right? I mean it can't get less gory.

I've always liked the post-apocalyptic genre. I've enjoyed the Romero films, 'Omega Man', 'The Road' and 'The Stand' mini-series. I also like 'Falling Skies' and 'Revolution'. But the genre does have it's limits. And making the bad guys zombies, who can only be killed by shooting (or smashing or stabbing) their brains out, makes it even more limited.

Good science fiction enlightens us. Like the original 'Star Trek'. They took the issues of the 1960's, as well as more universal themes, and acted them out with space ships and aliens. We felt better watching it. More connected with each other. I don't really see any point in 'The Walking Dead' besides grossing me out.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Comedy Shop

RTV (Retro Television) must have a budget of about $12 a day. I recently commented about their reruns of the terrible 60's sitcom, 'The Joey Bishop Show'. Their line-up is the bottom of the barrel, with a few exceptions like 'Route 66' and 'The Naked City'. Their typical fare is garbage like 'The Cisco Kid', 'Soupy Sales' and 'The Real McCoys'. But where else can you see something like the dated but interesting trucker show 'Movin' On'?

Well, we have another winner. A little gem from the early 80's called 'The Comedy Shop', a syndicated half-hour that was a product of the stand-up comedy boom of the era. The host is the incredibly mediocre Norm Crosby.

Typically, there would be three or four B-Team performers and a 'surprise guest', usually a sitcom co-star (e.g., Norman Fell, Isabelle Sanford) who were there for the sole purpose of promoting their shows. They would tell a lame joke and introduce the next act. Some of the performers, like Elayne Boosler, I remember. But some I have no clue who they are and assume they found another career path.

Unlike 'The Joey Bishop Show', I actually remember 'The Comedy Shop'. I don't think I was much of a fan, but it was 'okay'. Watching it now, and seeing how dated and unwatchable it is, I can't help but think, 'there must be about 50 people in the whole country watching this'.

At the time, a club in LA called The Comedy Store was a household name. 'The Comedy Shop' was such an obvious rip-off of the name, there's a disclaimer in the credits.

Stand-up comedy is something that, in general, just doesn't hold up over time. There are some exceptions. I still get a kick out of The Smothers Brothers' albums. And the Mel Brooks/Carl Reiner '2000 Year Old Man' is still funny. Jonathan Winters is a great act and never gets stale. But those examples are rare and they didn't do 'topical humor'. Maybe that's why they hold up. Even the great George Carlin HBO specials aren't funny after a decade or so.

If you get RTV, check out 'The Comedy Shop'. It's so bad that it's great. But after two or three episodes, I think I've had my fill.