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  1. Tom and Jerry show is a classic unforgettable TV show! I'll be reviewing Hanna and Barbera's Tom and Jerry, Gene Deitch's, and Chuck Jone's. For this review, I'll include a non spoiler review and a spoiler one! Non spoiler review: Animation: The animation in Hanna and Barbera's Tom and Jerry show was spectacular! I loved the classic feel of Tom and Jerry even though it had a "foggy" texture. I loved how the characters could take different shapes and colors! I loved how the animation changed slightly in some episodes. Gene Deitch's version of the Tom and Jerry show had the worst animation. Almost everything looked awful and poorly designed with some exceptions. Chuck Jone's Tom and Jerry's animation was the best. It was high-quality with beautiful colors and shades. The characters and backgrounds had very neatly shaped forms. Cinematography: The cinematography in the Tom and Jerry show was good. I loved how in many episodes, the camera was at a perfect angle. The camera wasn't too far away or too close. It was at mid-range where you could see the background and characters. It made you feel they were constantly at war with each other. I think we rarely (if ever) got a close-up or wider camera shot. The cinematography was fairly consistent in all of the Tom and Jerry versions. Story: The plot in the Tom and Jerry show is extremely simple revolving around a cat chasing a mouse. Nonetheless, the Tom and Jerry show amazingly managed to add a ton of creativity to the story! Tom and Jerry could be exciting and suspenseful due to its unpredictability! The anticipation of what you knew was going to happen filled you with dread. When other characters were introduced, the Tom and Jerry show became more interesting as Tom had to try different approaches to catch Jerry! I loved how the pacing of Tom and Jerry was chaotic. Sometimes, characters moved at a slow pace. Other times, they moved very fast only to stop completely and move at a slow or medium pace. I disliked how Tom and Jerry talked sometimes. It didn't feel like they would authentically talk. It feels like they were forced to because the creators couldn't think of nonverbal ways of expressing themselves. Gene Deitch's Tom and Jerry stayed true to the original to some degree while adding a new interpretation to the show. Tom's owner was really disturbing! He was brutal and sadistic. He made the show more dreadful to watch! Chuck Jone's version of the Tom and Jerry show was probably the weakest of them all. Some episodes were good and funny but they didn't have the same energy as the original. I love Chuck Jone's other works such as Looney Tunes but I didn't think he was suitable for Tom and Jerry. His version of Tom and Jerry felt more like Looney Tunes. Chuck Jones' specialty is Looney Tunes. I felt Tom and Jerry didn't have strong nonverbal communication in Chuck's version compared to previous versions. The pacing of Tom and Jerry in Chuck Jones' version felt too consistent compared to the original. Chuck's version didn't feel as chaotic as the original Tom and Jerry show. Soundtrack: I loved the swing jazz in the original Tom and Jerry show! What makes Tom and Jerry special is the music. Though the Tom and Jerry show had little to no dialogue, you can feel the characters talking to you through the mostly instrumental music. It's the music that expresses the characters' excitement, curiosity, sadness, joy, etc. It shows you what they're doing. The music makes the characters look like heroes. The music constantly shifted from style to style. It could be melodic and full of energy only to abruptly stop then play at a slower tempo. The Tom and Jerry soundtrack had no set structure. It felt chaotic and improvised which brought the show to life! Gene Deitch's version was close to the original Tom and Jerry's soundtrack. Chuck Jones' version was good but the soundtrack was too predictable at times. For example, music with the same pace and rhythm plays for several episodes during chase scenes. Theme: The overall theme of the Tom and Jerry show is life is chaotic. Tom and Jerry appeal to me so much because there are technically no heroes or villains. Tom and Jerry both have heroic and villainous traits. Both have the same goals but different means of achieving them. Jerry might be small but he's intelligent. Tom might be big but he's not as intelligent as Jerry. They might be friends one day but enemies the next. Life's not what it seems. Overall, I felt Hanna and Barbera's Tom and Jerry was a classic masterpiece! Tom and Jerry show is a must-have collection, especially for fans of animated cartoons! If you want to read more, check my blog post! http://artfromthehumansoul.blogspot.com/2022/09/tom-and-jerry-show-review.html
  2. This is from my blog, The Classic Film Connection. I originally posted it on September 6th (the day after Bob’s 92nd birthday). While it’s mostly about his work in television, I also cover what I feel are his most notable film roles. I’d love to know your thoughts and favorites, too - so I thought it was still message board relevant. 🙂 Bob Newhart: The Introvert’s Hero I’m a day late – but I’d like to dedicate this post as a birthday wish / tribute to the first person who showed me it’s OK to be an introvert… Several years ago, I landed my first real, grown-up, full-time job: a leadership position, in which I was responsible for overseeing multiple programs involving large groups of people. I also worked as part of a team of fellow leaders – all of whom were extroverted to a large degree. I stuck out like a sore thumb. Eventually, in our staff meetings, I began to hear never-ending choruses proclaiming how different I was. (The refrain usually began with, “You’re so quiet!” – and variations of that theme went on from there.) While I’ve often felt different, I never thought of myself as quiet – and I certainly didn’t equate quiet with bad. A supervisor re-introduced me to the terms introvert and extrovert (concepts I hadn’t heard since college) – although he would say “introvert” with such disdain, it sounded like a curse. And it was hard not to take on the idea that my introverted nature made me inferior – especially when that was so often, and so strongly, implied. It was harder still to lead and to do my job well when I felt undercut as a person. Enter Bob Newhart. In the midst of my personal crisis, I discovered The Bob Newhart Show by accident. (I remember I had quickly picked up dinner – and I was so hungry, I flipped on the TV and turned to a classic station, not caring what was on.) The episode I landed on charmed me, which led me to seek out the beginning of the series. Minutes into episode 1, I realized why I was drawn to this show: he was me. I was watching a male, middle-aged version of myself. He talked like me (I even stammer somewhat), thought like me, and functioned as I did in a work group, at home, and as a leader. He was the first true introvert I’d ever seen on screen, and the connection was strong. It was my first step in embracing who I am. And this connection grew even stronger when I researched the man himself and realized he was much more than the “name” of the show. Sure, it wasn’t all on him – there were directors, writers, and producers working together to make the magic happen – but major decisions required HIS approval. There was no mistake as to whose show this was – in title, on camera, and behind the scenes. That’s not to say he was dictatorial. The cast and crew largely seemed to function like a happy family. Everyone had a part to play, but in terms of taking on personal responsibility for the show’s success, Bob was certainly the leader of the team. In fact, the Name / Star / Silent Creative Glue role suited him so well, he repeated it over and over again (with the hugely successful Newhart, then Bob, followed by George & Leo – although I’m not sure how much behind-the-scenes involvement he had in the last one). This inspired me. I bought books on the power of introverts and being an introverted leader, I carried myself with enough confidence at work to at least not feel compelled to cave and change myself just to fit in – and I watched as much of The Bob Newhart Show as I could get my hands on. It was my go-to, especially when I felt misunderstood. I made it through all six seasons in no time – and I still come back to it regularly. Of course, the television shows came as a result of the mark he’d already made as a significant presence in stand-up comedy. His debut album, The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart, became a bestseller. It reached #1 on the Billboard charts – and remains the 20th best-selling comedy album of all time. His rise was meteoric. In a recent interview with WGN News, he relays that Button-Down Mind was recorded during his first-ever nightclub appearance (which was booked for the sole purpose of recording the album!). After its success, he says, “every day was New Year’s”. He appeared often on The Dean Martin Showand The Ed Sullivan Show, and hosted his own variety show (the very first, and Peabody Award-winning, The Bob Newhart Show) – which propelled him to his legendary phase as a sitcom star. I have no doubt the chief reason he garnered so much positive attention so fast (aside from the obvious fact that he is, indeed, very funny and clever) is because he was different. He was quiet. He was thoughtful. He fumbled for words. He listened. (Heck, his most well-known stand-up shtick revolves around his side of telephone conversations!) He was an introvert. His unwavering resolve to stay true to himself rewarded him with a remarkable career – and I venture to say it’s a large part of why he’s 92 (as of September 5th) and, if the WGN News interview from about 8 months ago I referenced earlier is any indication, still going strong. You can watch it here. (It’s delightful, by the way. His button-down mind is still as sharp as a tack!) The cinematic side of his career is less illustrious, but there are notable highlights: – His telephone act was brilliantly worked into his character for his first film role – a featured part in a lesser-known war picture, Hell is for Heroes (1962), starring Steve McQueen. – His perfectly over-the-top performance in Norman Lear’s comical satire, Cold Turkey(1971), deserves more attention. (In his long career, Bob has occasionally played the exact opposite of his well-known personality – always in a crazed, lampooning fashion that’s a perfect spoof of extreme extroversion…See evidence above.) – He achieved Disney immortality (and was perfectly cast) as Bernard the Mouse in the animated classics, The Rescuers (1977) and The Rescuers Down Under (1990). – And who can forget lovable Papa Elf, in the holiday hit, Elf (2003)? (Again, perfectly cast!) But his performances extend beyond the realms of comedy and family fun. There’s his early role in “How To Get Rid of Your Wife”, an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour – which I haven’t seen yet, but hope to soon, as I’ve recently learned the entire series is available on Peacock. Granted, from what I’ve read, it does seem to be a comically-tinted episode – but there has to be some seriousness and suspense to it, because a) it’s Alfred Hitchcock, and b) THIS Bob Newhart is most certainly up to something and is decidedly NOT being funny: And there’s his three-episode stint on ER, of which I’ve only seen the first, because ER is generally too much for me anyway – plus I’ve read spoilers and know what happens. (Besides, my heart is still recovering from his appearance on NCIS.) But I do want to see it. I think comedians can make the best dramatic actors, so I love to watch when one steps out and tries. And it’s not like I don’t have the opportunity, since all of ER is on Hulu…I will watch it. I will. I’ll steel myself, and I will. (Now that I’ve put it in writing, I have to follow through.) Regardless of who or in what genre he plays, all of Bob’s characters share this uniquely personal touch that springs from him being so firmly and assuredly grounded in himself. And if you’re an introvert who, like me, needs to feel represented, seen, and understood – seek out The Bob Newhart Show. It’s very ‘70s, but it makes for excellent therapy. (*And all 6 seasons are now on Hulu!*) It’s funny. Entertainment is supposed to be just that – entertaining. And as such, I guess it’s not designed to truly be taken seriously. But occasionally, something or someone you see on screen can impact you in a life-changing way: like one character in a sitcom entirely redefining how you value yourself. That goes so far beyond mere entertainment. It’s the power of art – and the power of someone unwaveringly and uncompromisingly showing up in the world as himself. So, if you’ll indulge me a moment while I send this personal message out into cyberspace: Hi, Bob. Happy 92nd birthday. Thanks for being this introvert’s hero. *** So, what do you think? What are your favorite Bob Newhart moments? And whose work goes beyond entertainment for you? Also, are there any fellow introverts out there? (Feel free to comment here, of course - and, if you’d like to receive notification when I post something new on my blog, go here to subscribe via email or follow me on WordPress. I’d love to connect with you there, too!)
  3. I saw a black & white film on tv at my grandparents house in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The scenes I recall were magical and captivating. I recall a castle that was under a spell and it had become overgrown and all occupants were “asleep” frozen in time. When they were restored, the scene was joyous. I also recall a “hero” figure who had to climb overgrown vines and obstacles to reach the castle to rescue it. I have been searching the internet for years trying to find this film with no success. I realize that some story elements are similar to Sleeping Beauty/Briar Rose or even Beauty and the Beast but searches with those names have not produced the movie I’m looking for. From my recollection it’s likely the movie I’m looking for was made in the 30’s or 40’s. There is a chance it could have been a foreign film dubbed into English. I would not have been sophisticated enough at the time to pick up on that. I would LOVE to find this film and view it again. I’ve seen countless films in my years and this one grabbed a hold of my imagination at a young age and has held it ever since. Surely this was one of the goals of the filmmakers. Will you help me find this film? I would be so grateful!!!
  4. Anyone interested film noir of films produced now should check out a cable TV series called "Better Call Saul". It's shown on AMC and I think it's available January. Some of the same people that worked on Breaking Bad are working this one too. The protagonist is Jimmy McGill and he has an older lawyer brother that worked for a high level law firm but then had mental problem and now can't have anything electrical in his home. Visitors have to leave their cell phones in the mail box outside. There are lots of night scenes and in his brother's home during the day, soft light flickers through the window treatment. It is film noir, but it is shot in color. The cinematography is excellent.
  5. A habit I wasn't really aware of came to my attention recently. When channel surfing, there are certain rerun programs that I can not go past. Sometimes I get stuck on a favorite show and I just can't help stopping to see it to the end. Several examples came to mind recently: JEREMIAH JOHNSON -- Run across it at any point, and, unless I'm already committed to something else then running, I stay with Jeremiah to the end. JUNO -- Never pass it up, no matter where I happen upon it. THE LECTOR CYCLE -- MANHUNTER, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, RED DRAGON, HANNIBAL, even the prequel HANNIBAL RISING I just about always stay with any of these where I find them. The one exception is the NBC series HANNIBAL. I gave it three tries, and it never held my interest for an entire episode. I've noted that one of my sons can not pass up any DR. WHO program. Are there any viewers with favorites they react to in that way?
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