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About EricJ

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  • Birthday 06/14/1964

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  1. Or maybe NOT. Now that Disney has its own marketable streaming service(s), and most studios have moved away from declining cable broadcasts. If you're lucky, they might show Moana on ABC.
  2. Leonard Nimoy, who brought the Birkat kohanim to Vulcan, also had a well-known tour as Tevye, in '71:
  3. Christopher Lee was famous as one of the last pleasant "Gentleman horror actors" in the days of Vincent Price and Peter Cushing, and in fact, Lee says the only reason he agreed to "Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf" is that he had good experiences working with bat-looney director Philippe Mora on The Return of Captain Invincible. He has often publicly regretted it later. (As for why Disney's Return From Witch Mountain (1977), at least that one managed to get Bette Davis, too, so go figure.)
  4. I was just looking back on his overlooked role in the movie of Broadway's Mass Appeal (1984). A bit generic for Lemmon-dramedy, but that's still a pretty high bar.
  5. It's VERY good, and better than some of Bogdanovich's 80's films before "Noises Off": A sardonic movie version of that Hollywood urban-legend about "That one party on William Hearst's yacht...", with Kirsten Dunst as a cute Marion Davies, Eddie Izzard doing a surprisingly good backstage Charlie Chaplin, and Edward Hermann 180 degrees away from Orson Welles as a very real scary, insecure, and bullying party-animal William Randolph Hearst. Almost makes you want to believe it.
  6. Least of all a metal spiral staircase. 😱 It's clearly sped-up and edited, and the music only gives it the feel of being "fluid" motion.
  7. Okay, sort of "cheats" to do a Blu-ray, but it's a lockdown Sunday, and I wasn't sure whether I'd "officially" done this one already*, just to sound out other secret closet fans, or spark a few more Amazon Prime streamings...But, since I've been working down my new-unwatched-Blu-ray pile with the library closed, it counts as "Just watched": Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer (1984) - 👍 I'm assuming some have already well heard of this one, and the rest...haven't, so thought it might spark discussion: If there was ever a "JFI 100" of great Japanese anime films on the level of live-action Kurosawa classics, this is literally considered to be in the top 5, if not actually #2 or 3. Unlike most folks' attempt to jump into "the kids' new Anime thing", only to land feet-first in either some dreary, impenetrably surrealist arthouse-import like Akira or Paprika, or get stuck in the cute Studio Ghibli canon and never find their way out again, this one's absolutely approachable (and yes, funny) for those neophytes new to the genre, and a lot more fun to sit through--But still with a touch of classic-status style that will allow first-timers to hold their own in a snooty discussion with uber-fans hammering them to watch "Grave of the Fireflies" or "Neon Genesis Evangelion" for their own "good". It's usually not recommended for first-timers because it's the feature spinoff of a long-running, and very eccentric wacky sitcom, and requires knowing the pilot-episode setup (which is necessary for understanding a key moment of the climax), and being able to recognize some of the oddball supporting-characters' running gags (although first-timers should get the idea fairly quickly). The TV backstory, for those who tuned in late: Ataru, the high school's resident wisecracking, girl-chasing troublemaker-irritant, is picked as an "average Earthling" by aliens to defend the Earth in a race against the space commander's cute, and very Barbara Eden-like daughter Lum. Long story short, he wins by cheating, only to discover the "prize" involves an alliance marriage, and, in the true spirit of Maj. Nelson and Jeannie, she's all for the idea--While our hero tries to flee, she moves into his house, tells everyone they're "engaged", and even enrolls at his school, where, to put it mildly, the new alien in class may be the most "normal" one there. Series director Mamoru Oshii, who later moved on to more famous artsy-anime classics like Ghost in the Shell, said he wanted to take a break from our wacky couple, and do a feature focusing on the "normal" school life of the underappreciated B-players on the series: Here, he takes the characters (almost) out of their chaotic comedy, and puts them in an eerie, X-Files like mystery, where the characters first feel as if their never-ending preparations for the school's festival have sunk into a Groundhog's Day-style time loop--And emerge from their long camp at the school grounds only to discover that everyone in the city, or possibly the world, may have mysteriously disappeared overnight. It's strange, but don't worry, it's all explained in the end, with both funny and imaginatively eerie/surreal scenes in a comfortable 50-50 ratio, and (with above backstory) a good first introduction to the series. Unfortunately, the remainder of the original TV series, and four other movie spinoffs, were originally licensed by a small US company, fell out of print fifteen years ago, now making it a "lost" classic, and the second feature fell between the licensing cracks to stay on as last remaining artifact. (The other four movie spinoffs have been just been picked up for next year on Blu by another company, but that's looking ahead.) However, it's now playing everywhere on Amazon Prime and other streaming services along with a package of other fan-archival 80's anime features, so that those first-timers who want to brag about having watched That New Anime Thing don't have to contain themselves to discussions of Hayao Miyazaki or Dragon Ball Z. (* - I know I've alluded to its Amazon availability before, but when I did a past-discussion search for "Lum", I found only Abner. Guess this one's new, and if it's not, I'll delete and make note for the record. 😉)
  8. Like I said, it plays better if We Suspect What the Character Doesn't. The otherwise out-of-nowhere Danny Aiello character works much better in context that way, and the artsy-creepy stuff in the early part starts to make more sense.. (Otherwise, it has the same abrupt "Anyway: Years later..." problem with Bruce Willis in Sixth.)
  9. And one of the goofiest pasted-on twists in recent memory, No Way Out (1987). Considering it wasn't in the original 40's version of "The Big Clock", this one's got both feet firmly in last-minute studio-meddled Made-Up Crap territory. Had both spoiled by the Internet (remember "spoiler trolls"?), but The Others was a giveaway in Kidman's first scene, while Sixth Sense, er...could have used a better time-transition scene after the escaped-patient. Jacob's Ladder (1990) might actually work better as a creepy, atmospheric art piece if you know the twist going in, rather than the frustration of simply trying to crossword-puzzle the "big twist" which you end up thinking they wouldn't use for being too obvious. At one point, the studio used that as the selling line to boost flagging box-office.
  10. - The Royal Ballet (1960) - Concert highlights of Margot Fonteyn in Swan Lake, Ondine and The Firebird - Tales of Beatrix Potter (1971) - Dancers in mice and bunny heads - George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (1993) and Nutcracker: the Motion Picture (1986) - The kid-friendly version with ex-ballet-class Macaulay Culkin inserted for box-office, and the gorgeous and iconic, if not...quite so kid-friendly Maurice Sendak-designed former Pacific Northwest production.
  11. (If you'd spent $200 on a Criterion boxset, YOU wouldn't be making Toho vs. Asylum jokes...Just saying.)
  12. Uh, I THINK we're missing the "Spielberg wishes he had Natalie Wood back again" joke Nip was trying to make-- And, free public-domain dumpster-diving aside, think the Spielberg/Jets comparison wasn't lost on the new Fiddler producer either. Nor was new-revival producer Lin-Manuel Miranda getting to make any movie he ever wants to make, after Mary Poppins Returns and before Hamilton and In the Heights.
  13. Darn, I was going to cite the guy on Monty Python who could give cats influenza: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXuCiEWc_7E [Note: May bother some current Pandemic-era sensibilities.] 🙀
  14. ...Well, what OTHER musical is in free United Artists public-domain right now? They're not going to remake "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", so...er, hope not, anyway. 🤫
  15. So, if you haven't read this thread before, it's NEW TO YOU! 😄 I also know the feeling I get watching Marvel's Black Widow and Warner's Wonder Woman 1984 trailers: 😞 Widow seems to double and triple-down on "Captain Marvel"'s Lifetime-Network female audience, taking the print-comic plot of Natasha's old training-rival Yelena Belova, and turning it into so much of a "Sister-bonding" story, you expect Widow to sing "Let It Go". WW84, OTOH, from the trailers, doesn't seem to know what about its "Period 80's setting" to show us except the occasional "Oo, look: A shopping mall!"--Apparently, the story is trying to homage the late 70's/early-80's phase of the comic, when the writers wanted to make Diana "liberated", threw her out of the Justice League, had her dress in trendy track suits and That-Girl polyester instead of Amazon armor, and take up learning martial arts...If you don't remember that, Gloria Steinem was pretty ticked off about that version, too. I can make absolutely no head or tail out of the "World-domination motivational speaker" plot the early trailers are selling, since they don't have enough footage yet of Kirsten Wiig as WW's enemy, the Cheetah. (And why wacky female-humor sitcom star Wiig? Got me...Although we also seem to be getting an another nerdy zero-to-villain plot, where Wiig's character is an old friend of Diana's, and jealous of her career empowerment. Yes, folks, this is what women see when they try to read comic books.) I will admit, however, to being curious about Artemis Fowl being busted down to Disney+, since I couldn't really see that one playing theaters.
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