Friday, December 31, 2010

TIME TO ANNOUNCE THE WINNERS OF THE 2010 PENGUIN AWARDS. While this year has been the most difficult due to the extreme mediocrity of the music scene at the moment, I have managed to scrape together several winners.
GONE TO SHILOH by Elton John & Leon Russell featuring Neil Young

GENUINE NEGRO JIG by Carolina Chocolate Drops 

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER by Mary J. Blige & Andrea Boccelli

The song of the year GONE TO SHILOH was indeed a very haunting one and received a couple reader votes. However, the simple fact is that it won because there really wasn't anything good enough to top it. The album of the year was a different story as Carolina Chocolate Drops' GENUINE NEGRO JIG was far and away the most listened to album in my player owing to the rich variety of song choices and virtuoso performances.  Runner-up was probably Broken Bells then V.V. Brown followed closely by Melody Gardot and Sade. Duet of the Year BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER won by virtue of a goosebump-raising vocal performance. However, the cover song of the year winner WHOLE LOTTA LOVE was truly the surprise. Mary's "Stairway To Heaven" was the one she performed all over the place and the one which got all the press. However the "b-side" of the single was this version of WHOLE LOTTA LOVE which fulfills one of my cardinal rules concerning covers: it should bring something new to the table. . .and this one did. Now, I love Led Zeppelin and always have -- but WHOLE LOTTA LOVE has never been one of my favourites. In fact, I usually skip past it if it's on the radio and I don't even have it in my ipod. Mary J. Blige's version whips it up into a whole new groove which brings the grossly overplayed song new life. It's quite a feat when you make a cover version which is better than the original -- and this one frankly is in my opinion. This is the only version I'll be listening to. So there youse has it: the somewhat underwhelming 2010 Penguin Awards. Click this link to hear a sampling of them. Let's hope next year we find some artists getting off their duffs and concocting some REALLY GOOD MUSIC! I can't take another year like this one!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FIRST NEW BLOG FEATURE OF THE NEW YEAR: A FAVOURITE COMIC BOOK COVER OF THE DAY. That's right, I have added another feature over there on the right hand column (below the dead people and my Library Thing). What I will be posting there is a favourite comic book cover of the past. Sometimes it will be shown because it is one of my favourite issues and sometimes it will just be pictured because it's boss cover art I've always loved regardless of what's in the actual issue. For instance, this cover is not featured because it's a particularly great cover but because it's probably the first real superhero comic book I ever bought new off the newstand. Before that I had picked up older comic books with their covers torn off at the Pennsauken Mart but had never (for some reason) bought a new issue hot off the presses. So when I was a kid, I used to spend a lot of weekends at my grandparents' huge old Victorian house on Westfield Avenue in Pennsauken (I've written about this before). Often my grandmother and I would walk all the way up Westfield Avenue to Thor's Drug Store where I would usually pick up my favourite Black Jack gum, some "You'll Die Laughing" bubble gum cards, a paperback book of Charles Shultz's Peanuts, an issue of Cracked or Mad Magazine and some comic books which were usually of the Gold Key, Harvey or Archie variety (i.e. Madhouse Glads, Boris Karloff's Tales of Mystery, The Occult Files of Dr. Spektor, Donald Duck or Richie Rich & Jackie Jokers). However, the first superhero comic I can remember picking up is this one: Justice League of America #120 which I read and re-read millions of times outside on the hammock in my grandparents' backyard. The story was continued in the next issue and I was actually diligent enough to pick up the story's conclusion the next month when it came out. So this cover is posted because of the issue itself. I'll try to choose my next one because of the spectacular cover art. One final note: if you click on the cover photo, you will be able to see it in a larger image. Enjoy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

THE BUTCHER'S BILL 2010. As usual at this time of year, I look back at those notable celebrities who have stepped on a rainbow this year. Please visit our sister audio blog BATHED IN THE LIGHT FROM ANDROMEDA to hear those recording artists who have died in 2010.
  • WILLIE MITCHELL, songwriter/producer "Let's Stay Together", "Call Me (Come Back Home)
  • ART CLOKEY, creator of Gumby
  • MIEP GIES, helped hide Anne Frank
  • ERIC ROHMER, writer/director
  • ELIZABETH MOODY, actress "Dead Alive"
  • ERICH SEGAL, screenwriter "Love Story"
  • BOBBY CHARLES, songwriter "See You Later, Alligator", "I Don't Know Why But I Do"
  • ROBERT "SQUIRREL" LESTER, singer "The Chi-Lites"
  • KATE MCGARRIGLE, musician
  • JEAN SIMMONS, actress "Hamlet", "Black Narcissus", "Guys and Dolls"
  • PERNELL ROBERTS, actor "Bonanza", "Trapper John M.D."
  • LOUIS AUCHINCLOSS, author/historian "Queen Victoria & Her Circle"
  • ZELDA RUBINSTEIN, actress "Poltergeist"
  • J.D. SALINGER, author "Franny and Zooey", "Catcher in the Rye"
  • HOWARD ZINN, historian "A People's History of the United States"
  • TOM BROOKSHIER, TV sportscaster
  • IAN CARMICHAEL, actor "I'm All Right, Jack"
  • PHIL HARRIS, fisherman "The Deadliest Catch"
  • CHARLIE WILSON, politician "Charlie Wilson's War"
  • ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, director "Bjork: Volumen"
  • DOUG FIEGER, singer "The Knack"
  • ART VAN DAMME, jazz musician
  • DICK FRANCIS, author
  • DALE HAWKINS, singer "Susie Q"
  • KATHRYN GRAYSON, singer/actress "Ziegfeld Follies"
  • LIONEL JEFFRIES, actor/director "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"
  • ALEXANDER HAIG, former U.S. Secretary of State
  • CAROLINE MCWILLIAMS, actress "Soap", "Benson"
  • ANDREW KOENIG, actor "Batman: Dead End", "Growing Pains"
  • JIM HARMON, screenwriter "The Lemon Grove Kids Vs. the Monsters"
  • RON BANKS, singer "The Dramatics"
  • CAROL MARSH, actress "Horror of Dracula"
  • COREY HAIM, actor "The Lost Boys"
  • MERLIN OLSON, actor "Little House on the Prairie"
  • PETER GRAVES, actor "Killers From Space", "Night of the Hunter", "Airplane"
  • LESLEY DUNCAN, singer "Love Song", "If I Could Change Your Mind"
  • HERB COHEN, record executive/manager "Frank Zappa"
  • SID FLEISCHMAN, author "The Ghost on Saturday Night"
  • ALEX CHILTON, singer "The Box Tops", "Big Star"
  • FESS PARKER, actor "Daniel Boone", "Davy Crockett"
  • JOHNNY MAESTRO, singer "The Crests"
  • ROBERT CULP, actor "I Spy", "Spectre"
  • DICK GIORDANO, comic book artist "Batman", "Green Lantern"
  • JUNE HAVOC, actress "Gentleman's Agreement"
  • SHIRLEY MILLS, actress "The Grapes of Wrath"
  • BUDDY GORMAN, actor "The Bowery Boys", "The Dead End Kids"
  • JOHN FORSYTHE, actor "The Trouble With Harry", "Dynasty", "Bachelor Father"
  • HENRY SCARPELLI, comic book artist "Archie"
  • CHRISTOPHER CAZENOVE, actor "The Duchess of Duke Street", "Dynasty"
  • MALCOLM MCLAREN, manager "The Sex Pistols"
  • MEINHARDT RAABE, actor "The Wizard of Oz"
  • DIXIE CARTER, actress "Designing Women"
  • MISSISSIPPI SLIM, blues singer
  • DARYL GATES, former L.A. police chief
  • DEDE ALLEN, film editor "Bonnie and Clyde"
  • LYNN REDGRAVE, actress "Gods and Monsters", "Smashing Time"
  • PETER O'DONNELL, author "Modesty Blaise"
  • ROBERT J. SERLING, author/brother of Rod Serling
  • LENA HORNE, singer
  • FRANK FRAZETTA, artist
  • ROSA RIO, organist "The Shadow"
  • RUTH CHEW, author "What the Witch Left"
  • RONNIE JAMES DIO, singer "Black Sabbath", "Dio"
  • MARTIN GARDNER, mathematician/author "Perplexing Puzzles and Tantalyzing Teasers"
  • GARY COLEMAN, actor "Diff'rent Strokes"
  • DENNIS HOPPER, actor/director "Easy Rider", "Night Tide", "Speed"
  • RUE MCCLANAHAN, actress "Maude", "The Golden Girls"
  • HIMAN BROWN, radio producer "Inner Sanctum", "CBS Radio Mystery Theater"
  • MARVIN ISLEY, bassist "The Isley Brothers"
  • CRISPIAN ST. PETERS, singer "The Pied Piper"
  • AL WILLIAMSON, comic book artist "E.C. Comics", "Flash Gordon"
  • JIMMY DEAN, singer "Big Bad John"
  • JIM PUGLIANO, drummer "The Jaggerz"
  • PHIL GORDON, actor "The Beverly Hillbillies", "Green Acres"
  • GARRY SHIDER, guitarist "Parliament -- known as Diaper Man"
  • RONALD NEAME, director "The Poseidon Adventure"
  • JOJO BILLINGSLEY, singer "Lynyrd Skynyrd"
  • COREY ALLEN, actor "Rebel Without A Cause"
  • VONETTA MCGEE, actress "Blacula"
  • SUGAR MINNOTT, singer "Hang On Natty"
  • HARVEY PEKAR, comic book writer "American Splendor"
  • GEORGE STEINBRENNER, baseball team owner "N.Y. Yankees"
  • ALAN HUME, cinematographer "Return of the Jedi"
  • LARRY KEITH, actor "The Raven & Other Favorite Poems"
  • ANDY HUMMEL, bassist "Big Star"
  • MAURY CHAYKIN, actor "Nero Wolfe", "Dances With Wolves"
  • MITCH MILLER, record executive/TV host "Sing Along With Mitch"
  • BOBBY HEBB, singer "Sunny"
  • CATFISH COLLINS, guitarist "Parliament", "The J.B.'s"
  • PATRICIA NEAL, actress "Hud", "The Fountainhead"
  • TED KOWALKSI, singer "The Diamonds"
  • GEORGE DICENZO, actor "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", "The Ninth Configuration"
  • DAVID L. WOLPER, producer "Roots", "The Thorn Birds"
  • EDWIN NEWMAN, newscaster "NBC News"
  • ABBEY LINCOLN, singer
  • ROBERT WILSON, musician "The Gap Band"
  • BOBBY THOMSON, baseball player "The Shot Heard 'Round the World"
  • MICHAEL BEEN, musician "The Call"
  • JACK HORKHEIMER, TV astronomer "Star Hustler"
  • ROBERT SCHIMMEL, comedian
  • MIKE EDWARDS, cellist "Electric Light Orchestra"
  • CLIVE DONNER, director "Spectre"
  • GLENN SHADIX, actor "Beetlejuice"
  • BILLIE MAE RICHARDS, voice actor "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
  • KEVIN MCCARTHY, actor "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
  • HAROLD GOULD, actor "Rhoda"
  • CLAUDE CHABROL, director
  • BILL LITTLEJOHN, animator "Tom & Jerry", "Peanuts"
  • LEONARD SKINNER, teacher "namesake for Lynyrd Skynyrd"
  • EDDIE FISHER, singer
  • GLORIA STUART, actress "The Old Dark House", "The Invisible Man", "Titanic"
  • BUDDY MORROW, band leader "Poe For Moderns"
  • SALLY MENKE, film editor "Reservoir Dogs", "Pulp Fiction", "Jackie Brown"
  • ARTHUR PENN, director "Bonnie and Clyde"
  • JOE MANTELL, actor "Chinatown"
  • TONY CURTIS, actor "Sweet Smell of Success", "Some Like It Hot"
  • STEPHEN J. CANNELL, producer "The Rockford Files", "Wiseguy"
  • MARSHALL FLAUM, director "The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau"
  • SIR NORMAN WISDOM, actor/comedian "On the Beat"
  • ROY WARD BAKER, director "A Night To Remember", "Quatermass & the Pit"
  • SOLOMON BURKE, singer "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love", "Cry To Me"
  • SIMON MACCORKINDALE, actor "Death on the Nile"
  • JOHNNY SHEFFIELD, actor "Tarzan's New York Adventure", "Bomba the Jungle Boy"
  • BARBARA BILLINGSLEY, actress "Leave It To Beaver", "Airplane"
  • GRAHAM CROWDEN, actor "Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon", "Waiting For God"
  • TOM BOSLEY, actor "Happy Days"
  • ROBERT PAYNTER, cinematographer "An American Werewolf in London"
  • BOB GUCCIONE, publisher "Penthouse"
  • MIKE ESPOSITO, comic book artist "Wonder Woman", "The Amazing Spider-Man"
  • GREGORY ISAACS, singer "Night Nurse"
  • TED SORENSON, JFK's White House Counsel
  • CHARLIE O'DONNELL, TV announcer "Wheel of Fortune"
  • JILL CLAYBURGH, actress "An Unmarried Woman"
  • TONY WEST, musician "The Searchers"
  • DINO DELAURENTIIS, producer "Europa '51", "Barbarella", "La Strada"
  • HENRYK GORECKI, composer
  • IRVIN KERSHNER, director "The Empire Strikes Back"
  • INGRID PITT, actress "The Vampire Lovers", "Countess Dracula"
  • LESLIE NIELSEN, actor "Forbidden Planet", "Airplane", "Police Squad"
  • MARIO MONICELLI, director
  • DON MEREDITH, football player/TV announcer "Monday Night Football"
  • JAMES MOODY, jazz saxophonist "Moody's Mood For Love"
  • BLAKE EDWARDS, producer/director "The Pink Panther"
  • JEAN ROLLIN, director
  • DON VAN VLIET, musician "Captain Beefheart"
  • STEVE LANDESBURG, actor "Barney Miller"
  • FRED FOY, radio announcer
  • DOROTHY JONES, singer "The Cookies"
  • BERNARD WILSON, singer "Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes"
  • TEENA MARIE, singer
  • NICK SANTO, singer "The Capris"

Sunday, December 26, 2010

THE YEAR IN MOVIES 2010! It has been my habit to list my favourite movies which I saw for the first time this year. Not movies MADE in 2010 but those I'd never seen before and watched in 2010. I saw many great films for the first time this year but I've whittled it down to only 50. ONLY he says!
  1. AUTUMN SONATA (1978) - Ingmar Bergman finally works with Ingrid Bergman. Masterful performances from Ingrid and Liv Ullman in the harrowing portrait of a mother who never connected with her daughters.
  2. THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE (1970) - Dario Argento's early thriller concerning a writer stalked by a serial killer after witnessing an attempted murder.
  3. THE BUDDHA (2010) - Beautiful TV documentary helmed by David Grubin relating the life and teachings of the Buddha with ubiquitous Richard Gere narrating and readings by Blair Brown. Lovely animation as well.
  4. CHUSHINGURA (1962) - Director Hiroshi Inagaki's lush retelling of the Japanese national epic of a conflict of obligations also known as THE 47 LOYAL RONIN
  5. DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (1971) - Dreamlike and queasy "Carmilla-like" film with Delphine Seyrig as the vampire preying on married couple John (DARK SHADOWS) Karlen and (more specifically) Danielle Ouimet.
  6. DEEP RED (1975) - Superb Dario Argento horror-thriller starring David Hemmings in the middle of the knife-slashing mania.
  7. DISTRICT 9 (2009) - Oscar-nominated science fiction phenomenon with prawns.
  8. DORIAN GRAY (2009) - The best filmic adaptation of Oscar Wilde's hoary old tale of debauchery with Ben Barnes as the angelic-faced reprobate and Colin Firth leading him astray. Did I say ashtray?!?
  9. THE 8 DIAGRAM POLE FIGHTER (1984) - masterful kung fu director Lau Kar-Leung's revenge film starring Gordon Liu and Alexander Fu Sheng (who died during filming).
  10. THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (1962) - Luis Bunuel's deliriously odd (that's nothing new) tale of a group of guests at a formal dinner party who find themselves unable to leave. Ever.
  11. THE FACE OF ANOTHER (1966) - Director Hiroshi Teshigahara's strange mixing of EYES WITHOUT A FACE and DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE as a hideously scarred man has a new face sculpted by a plastic surgeon. Does the person wear the mask or the mask wear the person?
  12. FELLOWSHIP OF THE FROG (1959) - One of the wonderfully daffy German krimi films based on the writings of Edgar Wallace. A master criminal by the name of "The Frog" torments Joachim Fuchsberger et. al.
  13. FIST OF LEGEND (1994) - As much as it seemed like a dopey idea to remake Bruce Lee's classic FISTS OF FURY, they actually did a really nice job of it with Jet Li fighting like a whirlwind.
  14. THE FIVE DEADLY VENOMS (1978) - Director Chang Cheh's hugely popular kung fu epic of a dying martial arts master tasking a student with checking on five masked former students named Centipede, Snake, Toad, Lizard and Scorpion. So influential the actors in the film forever after were known as "The Venoms".
  15. FIVE ELEMENT NINJAS (1982) - Another Chang Cheh kung fu classic this time with more of a "fairy tale" feel to it. A student seeks revenge over the ninja who killed his brothers & father; he must run the gauntlet of the Five Element Ninja Challenge of Earth, Wood, Fire, Gold and Water.
  16. FIVE FINGERS OF DEATH (1972) - Also known as KING BOXER, this is the film which actually kicked off the kung fu craze in the early 70's. This is yet another revenge tale with Lo Lieh playing the hero this time.
  17. THE GOOD DIE YOUNG (1954) - Three decent men are led astray by an amoral "gentleman" who involved them in a plot to rob a postal van. Great cast includes Laurence Harvey, Stanley Baker, Richard Basehart, Gloria Grahame, John Ireland, Joan Collins, Margaret Leighton etc.
  18. HEROES OF THE EAST (1979) - Kung fu classic helmed by Lau Kar-Leung starring Gordon Liu as the Chinese martial arts master who married a Japanese woman; he accidentally offends all of Japan's martial arts and must accept the challenge to fight 10 ninjas each specializing in a particular fighting style. One of the best.
  19. IN THE LOOP (2009) - The closest thing so far to getting the exceptional British comedy THE THICK OF IT into a film. Hilarious political comedy with the spectacular Peter Capaldi as Malcolm.
  20. IN WHICH WE SERVE (1942) - Story of World War II British destroyer H.M.S. Torrin told in flashbacks as its crew clings to a life raft. Directed by David Lean & Noel Coward. Cast includes Coward, Michael Wilding and John Mills.
  21. IP MAN (2008) - Director Wilson Yip's sorta-biography of Bruce Lee's martial arts master Ip Man takes place before and after the Japanese occupation of China leading up to World War II. Donnie Yen has probably his finest role here. The wonderful Simon Yam also stars and legendary Sammo Hung does the action directing. One of the best films of the year.
  22. IT ALWAYS RAINS ON SUNDAY (1947) - Director Robert Hamer's rather bleakly realistic film of an escaped convict's attempt to hide out in his former (married) lover's house. The wonderful Googie Withers heads a superb cast.
  23. JUDEX (1963) - Georges Franju's fever-dream updating of the classic French serial.
  24. JULIE & JULIA (2009) - Nora Ephron's lovely intertwining of the life of iconic TV chef Julia Child with a blogger's attempt to cook every recipe in Child's cookbook in a year. Based on a true story starring Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Stanley Tucci.
  25. KILLZONE (2005) - Director Wilson Yip's police story/martial arts blockbuster also known as SPL. Stars Donnie Yen as a new police detective taking over retiring Simon Yam's beat and getting entwined in an ongoing revenge vendetta against crimelord Sammo Hung. Great story and great fight scenes including a spectacular alley fight between Yen and psychotic Jing Wu.
  26. LA RONDE (1950) - Max Ophuls' delightful film about . . . well, sex, actually. Beautiful as a jewel. Superb cast includes Anton Walbrook, Simone Signoret, Simone Simon, Danielle Darrieux and more.
  27. LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD (1961) - Director Alain Resnais' bewildering but rivetting film concerning a man and a woman who may or may not have met last year at Marienbad. Delphine Seyrig enigmatically stars.
  28. THE MAD EXECUTIONERS (1963) - Another wildly fun German krimi based on the writing of Bryan Edgar Wallace in which a hooded society passes judgment on criminals who "got away with it" and kills them. This could be my favourite krimi, I think.
  29. ME AND ORSON WELLES (2008) - Lovely Richard Linklater film which (fictionally) takes us back to the famous Mercury Theater production of Julius Caesar. Christian McKay is stunning in his Orson Welles impersonation. The cast is rounded out by Zac Efron (you should pardon the expression), Claire Danes and Ben Chaplin.
  30. MY BEST FIEND (1999) - Werner Herzog's startling and hilarious documentary of his relationship with mad actor Klaus Kinski.
  31. MYSTERY OF CHESS BOXING (1979) - Mark Long stars as the Ghost Face Killer in this classic "martial arts training" film.
  32. OIL CITY CONFIDENTIAL (2009) - Superb Julien Temple rockumentary following the history of classic British rockers Dr. Feelgood.
  33. ONG BAK (2003) - One of the most highly touted martial arts flicks in recent memory. Tony Jaa is breathtaking in his fighting scenes as the young man charged with the task of returning his hometown's stolen Buddha statue by using his astonishing Muay Thai fighting technique.
  34. OPEN CITY (1945) - Roberto Rossellini's neo-realist trend-setter concerning the final days of Italy's Nazi occupation and the freedom fighters who try to undermine them. Aldo Fabrizi and Anna Magnani head the cast.
  35. PASSPORT TO PIMLICO (1949) - Terrific British comedy in which the residence of an area of London secede from Great Britain and proclaim themselves an independent country. Great cast of British character actors includes Stanley Holloway and Hermione Baddeley.
  36. PERSONA (1966) - Stunning Ingmar Bergman film in which an actress suddenly stops speaking and the nurse assigned to her care slowly finds herself losing her own personality. Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullman both give startling performances.
  37. RICHARD III (1955) - Laurence Olivier directs and stars in this Shakespearean adaptation of the "pantomime villain" which also stars acting heavyweights Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir John Gielgud, Pamela Brown and Claire Bloom. But not a horse.
  38. RUSH: BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE (2010) - Absolutely spectacular documentary on the Canadian rock institution Rush which covers their history and their music in equal depth.
  39. THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT (1965) - Director Wojciech Has' film adaptation of the thought-to-be unfilmable Polish epic.
  40. SCARFACE (1932) - Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson co-directed this 30's gangster classic with Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft and Boris Karloff.
  41. SNATCH (2000) - This is actually the only Guy Ritchie film I've ever seen but I thought it was hilarious. I can't speak to the "mockney" quality of his other films but this is like the British Three Stooges do a caper film. Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Jason Stathan and Mike "Frank Butcher" Reid are among the cast.
  42. TARZAN AND HIS MATE (1934) - The second of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films. It doesn't really matter what the plot of this cult film is; it's just a lot of fun and features the pre-code nudey swimming scene with Maureen O'Sullivan.
  43. TESTAMENT OF ORPHEUS (1960) - Jean Cocteau directs and stars in this film in which he looks back on his life and his obsessions.
  44. THE 36TH CHAMBER OF SHAOLIN (1978) - One of the greatest kung fu films ever. Lau Kar-Leung directs and Gordon Liu stars in this ultimate "martial arts training" film of the famous Shaolin Temple.
  45. THRILL OF A ROMANCE (1945) - Another of those Esther Williams swimming musicals. However, this one stands out because of Esther's rather salty and sarcastic acting role which departs from her usual sugar and light cheeriness. Esther marries a rich businessman but, when he leaves their honeymoon for some business duties, she begins flirting with a war hero. Van Johnson is back again as her co-star.
  46. TOKYO STORY (1953) - Yasujiro Ozu's masterpiece of of devastating loneliness as an old couple visit their children and grandchildren who basically ignore them. Heartbreaking.
  47. THE WAY AHEAD (1944) - Director Carol Reed helms this World War II tale of a group of infantry conscripts who morph from a hopeless group of amateurs to a seasoned fighting unit. David Niven, Stanley Holloway and William (DOCTOR WHO) Hartnell head a nice cast.
  48. WENT THE DAY WELL (1942) - It's startling to realize this film was made deep in the midst of World War II when the outcome wasn't at all decided. Nazi paratroopers take over a sleepy English town and it's up to the residents to fight against them. Surprisingly brutal in spots. Cast includes Leslie Banks, David Farrar and Mervyn Johns.
  49. YOU, THE LIVING (2007) - Director Roy Andersson's genuinely funny film of seemingly unrelated scenes which demonstrate the utter "humanness" of us all.
  50. ZOMBIELAND (2009) - Ruben Fleischer directs this combination zombie horror film and comedy which surprised me by working on both levels. Cast includes Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg and a magnificent Bill Murray cameo.

Friday, December 17, 2010

TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOYOUS. And I can think of nothing more joyous at the moment than the video for JUNGLE ANIMAL. So I posted it. Have fun. And jumping up and down on the couch is encouraged!

Pomplamoose with Allee Willis - Jungle Animal

Thursday, December 02, 2010

"And when your children's children think themselves alone in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent, and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. You will never be alone."
-- Chief Seattle