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About EricJ

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  • Birthday 06/14/1964

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  1. You want us to EXPLAIN why nobody ever answers your threads?--Especially the "Everyone's talking 'bout movies!" current-movie and Oscar-fanboy threads that nobody else ever brings up? Think carefully: Are you honestly sure you want us to tell you why? (But that's okay, you can still fill them up yourself with five or six posts in direct succession, and make them look like "conversation" with each other.)
  2. Christmas-in-the-film vs Christmas Film

    "White Friday" (as our house now calls our childhood Fridays)'s local-station Christmas movies were always the quick dug-out public-domain favorites, seeing as most of the staff had the day off. Sim-Scrooge, Wonderful Life, and March of the Wooden Soldiers were always "mild" enough to be the opening starter ceremonies on most of the hometown stations. I also remember CBS and some of the networks showing the first cartoon-specials, and re-airings of Saturday morning before the football games, since, with no "Black" holiday to enforce commercialism, it was Toys R Us commercials that had to get the mall-shopping pushes started. My local channels were cut with the cord, so I had to rely on disk and streaming for "virtual" local-station holiday programming--My unwatched Blu-ray pile was down to one of the Peanuts movies, which one of the stations would show, and I reserved whole piles of obscure Christmas specials on Amazon Prime to simulate the prime-time specials that would start to turn up. As for Red Balloon, that's now disking/streaming on Criterion's collection, isn't it? I've seen it on a lot better formats than tape: Back when Disney was seen as having the "monopoly" on kids' movies, it was rare to have a little French film that translated well for young kids, especially if it fell into public domain.
  3. Films of 2017

    While the press covers the committee debating this year's contenders...
  4. Christmas-in-the-film vs Christmas Film

    Well, "The Silent Partner" doesn't really feel like a Christmas film... Disney's Lady & the Tramp starts and ends on snowy Christmases, but doesn't really feel like a "holiday" film either...Or any adaptation of "Wind in the Willows" that climaxes on Christmas Eve. Unless you're being deluged with ads for those cheesy little LED lawn projectors. (And if we're going to adopt that new censor dodge, it helps to know the reference: Me, I'm all for it.)
  5. Christmas-in-the-film vs Christmas Film

    Thought the thread was about what "is" and "isn't" a Christmas film just for having Christmas in it--Which would bring up the old debate about why Gremlins "isn't" a Christmas film, but everyone thinks the first Die Hard should be. And then I'd end up looking hypocritical having to explain why I always watch Curse of the Cat People (1944) on Christmas, even though the snowy climax takes place weeks later. Even worse, The Sound of Music has started showing up in lists of "holiday" movies, A) because of generational association with it being shown on Thanksgiving, and B ) the annoying habit of people thinking "My Favorite Things" is a "Christmas song" because it mentions snow, sleigh bells and packages, even though there's no holiday of any kind in the entire three hours. And, of course, Holiday Inn (1942) is about an entire year of holidays, but as long as it gave us Bing's song and "Happy Holidays"... In My Day, Junior(tm), there was literally no such thing as "Black Friday", and it certainly didn't have a name yet--It was called "The day after Thanksgiving" (although our house has started calling it "White Friday"), and that was THE official starting pistol for decorations, shopping, Christmas Muzak at the malls, and more importantly, TV Christmas movies and specials. At least two stations would be showing It's a Wonderful Life, maybe one Sim-Scrooge, one station might dig up that cheesy 70's-Baryshnikov "Nutcracker", and if you were in broadcast range of NYC's WPIX-11, you didn't watch Laurel & Hardy's "March of the Wooden Soldiers" on any other day of the year. It's Tuesday, and most of us are blowing off or traveling Wednesday, close enough.
  6. We're not your "pals" here on the Magic Screen. That's the root of the problem we've been trying to make the moderators aware of.
  7. Silent Film Ideas

    I remember the public domain "goofy" dubs, but I also remember some local-station morning kids' shows also showing (cheap) condensed versions of the classics, with funny "real" narration for what was happening onscreen-- That was the first time I ever saw Keaton's Seven Chances (complete with explaining the gag of why Buster was going out marriage-proposing already carrying tickets to Niagara Falls and Reno), and my lasting image of "silent comedy" from childhood is still the Wile E.-like boulder avalanche scattering stampedes of enraged brides. That helped me get over most first-timers' trepidation about silent films, namely, "Do these things actually have coherent plots, or do the Keystone Kops just run around and drive cars over cliffs?" Needless to say, the Bullwinkle version didn't help.
  8. Calling it early: Best Supporting Actor nomination, Patrick Stewart, "Logan". The nomination that will cause double-takes, and if a win, one that will cause huge piles of torn-up betting pools. They who-WHA?? Early March, or did the Academy finally push back the "One month earlier" rule that caused all the mess in the first place, now that we don't have Harvey to kick around anymore? (No, spence, I was asking everyone else, lie down, heel...)
  9. I Just Watched...

    But, of course, since all the singing was dubbed, that wasn't his-- He proved to be just as good in his other first musical he did sing in:
  10. What's Missing From TCM

    The epitaph carved on Turner-colorization's tombstone was "I own 'em, I can do what I want with 'em", ie. Turner's ownership of the Warner/MGM library. Disney, Hal Roach, Fox's Shirley Temples, and low-budget video indies (like Republic) tried to get in on it too for plain-folks marketing, but didn't stay long. Turner went through a few library classics-to-impress like Casablanca and 42nd St., but when he tried to legitimize his Warner/RKO "ownership" by colorizing Citizen Kane, the Welles estate reminded Ted in no uncertain terms he DIDN'T own that one and COULDN'T do anything he wanted to it. That was the smoking gun the film-preservation community needed to shout down colorization once and for all, and its star fell quickly back into the bottom-feeding public-domain ghetto.
  11. It would be *staggering, considering it's not set to *open until *January 2018, and therefore disqualified. ....Next?
  12. What's Missing From TCM

    The first ones could only afford to be public-domain titles, so while It's a Wonderful Life has since been buried by ownership, you can still look up ancient $5 (or Amazon Prime) copies of Night of the Living Dead, or Scrooge (Hicks or Sim), and see that it....wasn't very good. At first, colorization was only able to do weird pastel shades of green, purple, tan, business-suit gray, sky-blue, and some Trump-like peach/orange for skin tones, which pretty well caused the public to give up on it immediately. And let's not even discuss the "bridge" scene from IAWL, where all the flying snow makes it impossible to hold the colorization from frame to frame. Turner tried to push his new folly, even giving us Casablanca, but more ambitious =/= better. And when he got the slap about Citizen Kane, that pretty much pulled the rug out from his entire industry, and TCM ("Uncut, commercial-free, and no colorization!") was born. Nowadays, Legend Films handles the colorization, the technology's improved and they're a little better at it, but if it isn't some licensed Ray Harryhausen or Stooges job for Columbia, it's still stuck in PD-vulture territory, where nobody who actually owns the content will let them do it anymore.
  13. I Just Watched...

    Most people don't know that Columbia, for some odd reason, decided to boost Rita Hayworth's Down to Earth (1947)--a movie unfairly cited as "inspiring 'Xanadu'", which is thoroughly inaccurate--into a pseudo-sequel to Jordan, with Horton and Gleason's characters returning, as Gleason now can't get anyone to believe his claims of Greek mythological characters in the city. No idea why, but a funny follow-up to watch.
  14. What's Missing From TCM

    So IOW, you want it to lose its compass and turn into the same nameless morass of public-domain syndie reruns that most cable channels did near the end of the 80's boom? (I mean, I liked the fact that Pat Robertson's "Family Channel" soon turned into an excuse to air old 50's Jack Benny and Burns & Allen reruns, and the early Comedy Channel soon had to give up the standup clips and fall back on Abbott & Costello reruns, but......) With cable having even more severely lost its channel compass in the 90's and 00's, let's raise a glass to one of the few cable channels that's not only kept its content, it's actually kept its programming CONCEPT for the last thirty years. That's what built its reputation as "The only watchable channel on cable". As for Laurel & Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Abbott & Costello and the Little Rascals, they're all in a bit of an ownership gray-area: The Hal Roach estate owns L&H and Our Gang ("Gang" was released by MGM, but the "Rascals" reruns are either PD or owned by Roach), and don't see the light of disk often, except for whatever slipped through the ownership cracks without restoration. We'll see L&H's work for MGM--plenty of "Bonnie Scotland" and "Devil's Brother"--but the shorts and classics are still stuck in the Roach motel. Harold Lloyd's estate was unique in putting a hold on his films, although the new Criterion partnership might bring back the classics that got restoration. As for A&C's tv series (the movies are Universal, except for a few MGM non-classics), that also seems to have fallen into PD quicksand along with "Africa Screams", "Jack & the Beanstalk", and anything else you can find at Walmart bins for $5....Or Amazon Prime. TCM is movies, and it's movies Turner/Warner/MGM/UA/RKO/Criterion own, which is a hefty chunk. Just because you don't watch other channels, don't ask them to deliver them to your door. And if it makes you feel any better, I grew up on NYC stations too, and still psychologically associate watching old movies and reruns with WPIX-11, unless they're old classics from WNEW-5...One's now a CW station, and the other's a Fox affiliate.
  15. Please cut the politics

    (O-kayyyy, so I'm guessing some other poster went running back to his favorite red-state forum crying about Ben, saying "Let's get 'em, girls!" Let the new single-digit "crusader" poster crossover-invasion begin...And then end just as quickly, seeing as they really don't know what they're talking about. )

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