Amoeblog

Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi: Doctor Who Season One & Jack the Giant Killer

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 16, 2018 07:16pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi, where I review recent Blu-ray releases. Both of these Blu-rays came out in the past three months.

Doctor Who: Tom Baker - Complete Season One, BBC Video:
These are the episodes that first introduced the Doctor Who franchise to the American public. The series Doctor Who Season Onehad already run for more than a decade in England where the venerable Doctor had long been considered a national icon and a variety of stars had already played the role of the Doctor, but Tom Baker is the face and personality that made him beloved by legions of North American fans. So it makes perfect sense that these would be the first episodes of the long running series to get a deluxe Blu-ray upgrade here in the US. These were originally shot on video so there has been a lot of handwringing online about how good these would look due to the low quality of the original source materials. Many fans have questioned whether it is worth upgrading from DVD to Blu-ray. Well, as soon as I popped in the first disc of this and saw the beautiful sharp picture quality and heard the flawless sound, I realized this was a total no-brainer. This set is a huge improvement over the DVDs and possibly the best restoration I have ever seen of something that was originally shot on video. The image quality is flawless. Once in a blue moon there is a weird lighting artifact that the restoration couldn't cover up, but these are few and far between. Yes, this does reveal many of the shortcomings of the special effects. Now you can see like never before that all the monsters are made of bubble wrap and paper mache, but that is actually half the fun of this set. The production budget for these shows was comparable to what you would see for a local high school play. The special effects crew did the best they could with what they had and there is a funky low-fi style to their effects, which looks charmingly nostalgic in the harsh naked light of this Blu-ray.

Continue reading...

10 Limited Edition Soundtracks Out On Record Store Day That You Can't Live Without

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 12, 2016 04:16pm | Post a Comment

10 Record Store Day Soundtracks

Record Store Day is almost here! On Saturday, April 16, 2016, independent music stores everywhere will unite to celebrate record store culture and to bring YOU fabulous limited edition releases! Download a PDF of those exclusive RSD releases right HERE.

This year RSD has several special vinyl soundtracks in an assortment of tasty colors in store for the film hounds among you. Here's our 10 favorite from those being offered:

Dark ShadowsDark Shadows by Bob Cobert
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the vampiric day-time soap opera Dark Shadows with this special re-release pressed on purple 180 gram vinyl, complete with the original poster from the 1966 version. Kick back in your velvet-lined coffin and dream of the 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, mortal governess Victoria Winters, and creepy old Collinwood Mansion as you enjoy hits like “Shadows of the Night (Quentin’s Theme)” and "Opening Theme." There's good reason this album remains one of Billboard’s Top 10 selling television soundtracks of all time!

Continue reading...

May the Fourth -- A Look at Star Bars and Deep Space Discos

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 4, 2015 11:27am | Post a Comment



The original Star Wars had a huge impact on pop culture. As a child, nothing in the film had more impact on me than the cantina scene -- and judging from the changes in dance music and imitations that followed I wasn't alone. What better occasion to reflect on the film's impact than May the Fourth, also celebrated as Star Wars Day.




***

Star Wars was released on 25 May 1977. I was probably three years old when I saw it in the theater because my fourth birthday followed a couple of weeks later and there were Star Wars dolls* emerging from the middle of a birthday bundt cake. After The Empire Strikes Back, George Lucas would increasingly strain to appeal directly to children by introducing cuddly aliens and increasingly relying on cartoonish CGI but for me and many other children, Star Wars was already deeply appealing, dark and sometimes frightening as it was. 


For comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell, the cantina scene was the "threshold crossing" in the "hero's journey." For me it was a bit like viewing an ethnographic bestiary -- or a Halloween party (in the 1970s, Halloween hadn't yet been hijacked by adults and turned into streetwalker cosplay). One of the cheif appeals of Star Wars was its mystery and world building -- something which the expansion of the franchise would later explain away with banal backstories -- but on full display in the cantina. Of all the characters, 
only
Greedo was addressed by a name. The rest of the assembled wore no pageant sashes, name tags, or hash tags and aside from the viewers' understandings of evolution there were few clues as to the conditions of their home worlds. 
 

The Star Wars cantina was what I wish Encounter in LAX's Theme Building had been, and what it will be if they get it right when it's re-opened. What the cantina wasn't was every lame, uninspired hive of pretense and conformity which bills itself (despite having a liquor license) as a "speakeasy."  It wasn't illuminated by Edison bulbs, the wines weren't listed on a chalk board, there was no unfinished wooden sign on the building's exterior describing it as an apothecary, and it was probably cash only. The bartender wasn't a lumbersexual and he didn't spend twenty minutes rubbing herbs on a mason jar in the name of "mixology."

(Wherein I play with myself.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 25, 2011 01:30pm | Post a Comment

I’m a bachelor this week – so to speak. Emotionally I am in love and committed to the boyfriend, but as he is in the Great Country of Texas for the next week, I am functioning as single. As much as I miss him, I do get to indulge in certain activities I would otherwise not.

For starters, I can safely wear wife-beaters without incurring any catty remarks about my “smacking my girlfriend around” or needing to go out and “fix my bike”. I like to pair my wife-beaters with basketball shorts and hair un-brushed to the point where I look like a White Panther. A half-empty bottle of Bud Light would really complete the look, but I’m no fashion sheep.


On the runways of Paris this summer.

Speaking of alcohol, when alone I get to drink wine my most favorite way: straight from the bottle. It looks awful. It looks trashy, debaucherous, and to outside eyes would seem like a red flag signaling the starting race towards alcoholism – but I don’t drink any more from a bottle than I would a glass, plus this way I get so much more oxygen with each sip, thus facilitating a burst of flavor and heightening all the complexities and subtle nuances a bottle of Charles Shaw has to offer. Also, it’s one less glass to wash, which means it’s greener. Drinking wine straight from the bottle helps trees and future generations of children!


Saving the planet, one case of Merlot at a time:
Because I care.

Continue reading...

Thank Heavens for Heathens—Aggronautix “Throbblehead” Toys

Posted by Chuck, January 25, 2011 03:01pm | Post a Comment


By the early-1990s, eating your own feces was as in as it was ever going to get in civilized circles. Why? Because of GG Allin. He put that dining option (a.k.a. in the insect world as coprophagia) on the menu. Today the practice is nearly unheard of but the fact that so many of us swerved off course and found extreme behavior sort of refreshing is because of The Murder Junkies’ Allin—who not only smeared himself in excrement, blood and other bodily emissions and ceremoniously flung it on his audiences, but was also convicted of rape in 1989 (it was mutual debasement, he contended) and inhaled drugs like a hundred Lizard Kings—either didn’t give a damn or gave too much of one. When he wasn’t befriending John Wayne Gacy or writing manifestoes he made music with about 900 underground punk bands, most of it barely listenable unless you enjoy being audibly pissed on. In other words: the music was synonymous with the man. It’s no wonder “Suck My Ass It Smells” remains a cult hit some 18 years after Allin’s death of a heroin overdose in 1993. GG Allin was an exercise in vicariism, particularly for the prudish at heart (which he made damn sure was all of us).

A legacy like that, of course, calls for commemoration.

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT