Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Monsters Inc.: Pixar seems to have lost a little bit of its soul when it started cranking out all these sequels (Toy Story doesn't count because all those are awesome), but my son loves the characters, he'll probably love this movie, and if you're against it, you're against my son. Do you really want to be against my son? No, I didn't think so.

R.I.P.D.: It hasn't been Ryan Reynolds' year, and this bomb is another reminder of that. Hey, though, maybe this one will be rediscovered and beloved on DVD and cable, just like that other box office disappointment in which he played...uh, the superhero guy. You know, the one with the color in his name. Yeah, this one could be just as beloved as that one!

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist: Dammit, NO. And I don't care if YOUR kid likes the characters and the other movies.

Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen and I: I sure hope this is a split-screen of the Boss "interviewing himself" for 90 minutes.

American Experience: War of the Worlds: PBS digs up this long forgotten classic episode--it aired yesterday--and finally gives it the home video release it so richly deserves.

Warner Archives brings us season 4 of the late 80s/early 90s syndicated Adventures of Superboy (how is it I have no memory of ever seeing that show?), Jeff Bridges in Fearless on Blu-Ray, and most interestingly (to me), 3 old Lee Tracy pictures: Half Naked Truth (with Lupe Velez!), The Nuisance (with Frank Morgan!), and Turn Back the Clock (with Clara Blandick!). "Truth" used to be on TCM regularly, but I don't recall the other two. Oh, and I meant to say Clock features in a small role The Three Stooges. Apologies to Clara Blandick fans out there, but they might be just a bit of a bigger draw.

And in Streaming...

Some interesting recent releases showed up on Netflix this week. It seems like mere weeks since I highlighted The Sapphires (Chris O'Dowd), Phantoms (Ed Harris/David Duchovny), and Redemption (Jason Statham). In fact, it is! All of these sound worth at least a try on Instant Watching. Also, the run of prominent documentary adds continues with We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.

Here's your latest Courageous Cat and Minute Mouse on Hulu update: The number of available episodes has grown from a laughable 1 to a still-odd 2 to a respectable 13.

Warner Archive Instant added a new showcase category: Screen Sleuths. This area features two George Sanders Falcon movies, a Sanders Saint flick, James Garner in Marlowe, and the 4 Charlie Chan films (all with Sidney Toler or Roland Winters as Chan and, maybe more importantly, all with Mantan Moreland) that were featured in 2010's TCM Spotlight DVD set. I know the Chans are new to Instant--and a welcome addition they are, to be sure--and I believe the other 3 are as well.

Monday, October 28, 2013

YOU Make the Call!

What would you do, sports fans, if this happened to ypu?

You go to the library and stumble upon the recent TCM Spotlight set of 4 Charlie Chan movies. Delighted, you borrow one for a week. Less than two days later, you note that Warner Archive Instant just added those same 4 movies to its On Demand lineup.

Do you:

1) Watch the movie on DVD since, hey, you already have it sitting there by the TV

2) Watch the movie on Warner Archive Instant since, hey, you're paying for that

3) Watch the movie on DVD AND on streaming to somehow "justify" the library transaction AND get value out of the streaming service

4) Shake your fist at the heavens, yell, "O cruel movie Gods," and refuse to watch the movie at all

5) Sit down and watch an episode of "Love That Bob" for no apparent reason

6) Go to the library and demand your money back, then write an angry letter to the local paper complaining about misuse of taxpayer dollars

7) Write a blog post soliciting advice

Fans, this is your chance to make the call!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Over at ClassicFlix...

Just in tine for Halloween, my latest "TV Time" column is up at ClassicFlix, and it looks at the scary side of growing up on classic television.

TV Time: The Scary Side of Growing Up with Classic TV 
10/25/2013 | by Rick Brooks 
I had a great relationship with television when I was growing up. It amused me, thrilled me, and at times maybe even baby-sat me. But there were times when the images and sounds on that little set flat-out scared me. This month I ‘fess up to some of the classic television elements that spooked me when I was younger.

Oh, and by the way, the beta version has now become the official new and improved version, so update your bookmarks and links to delete that "beta" part from the URL. is where it's at, baby!

Of course, you have been keeping up with things over there? Right? If not, in addition to my pieces, you missed a great primer on classic movie comedy teams , a profile of noir standout Coleen Gray, and a review of the notorious Warner Brothers pre-code Wonder Bar.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stuff I Scrambled to See on Netflix Before It Expired: American Grindhouse

Hey, folks, for a change, I'm doing you a solid and writing about something while it's still actually available. So do take advantage and see the 2010 documentary American Grindhouse. Directed and produced by Elijah Drenner, it's an entertaining and well organized history of grindhouse and exploitation cinema. I highly recommend you sit down and reserve an hour and a half for this if that sounds interesting.

Then again, any grindhouse aficionado might not find a whole lot that's new or revelatory in this documentary.   Still, I think the mark of a good movie of this type is that it inspires newbies to go see the films discussed...and it inspires experts to go see the fi;ms discussed again. On this count, "Grindhouse" succeeds; its enthusiasm and love of the material is infectious. hey, it would be great if more of the movies mentioned were on Netflix!

Robert Forster is both a credible and approrpriate choice to narrate the doc, but the more prominent voices are the many talking heads who are interspersed with vintage film clips, trailer excerpts, and footage of moviegoers and theaters. It's no surprise to see Trailers from Hell proprietors Joe Dante and John Landis here. Czar of Noir Eddie Muller is a welcome presence as well, and the resident representative filmmaker talking head is Herschel Gordon Lewis.

There are fun stories and great highlights of some of the landmark exploitation movies in history, and the narrative does a solid job of weaving that history with American cultural history and explaining the synergy. Make no mistake, though, this 80-some minutes will leave you wanting more. It is a fast-paced, enjoyable primer on the subject and a great Instant Watch...for another few days or so.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

The Conjuring: This scary movie is one of the bigger surprise hits of the year, but they could have been more timely with the DVD release. I mean, they totally missed a natural Columbus Day tie-in.

The Internship: Remember when Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson made such a popular screen team in "The Wedding Crashers?" You do? Yeah, that was a long time ago, wasn't it?

Before Midnight: Years ago, Richard Linklater charmed us with "Before Sunrise." Some years later, he kind of cheapened it by doing a sequel. Now that we know its a trilogy, does that make it more legitimate?

Dead in Tombstone: Any movie with this title that stars Mickey Rourke AND Danny Trejo should come with a free bottle of sanitizer.

Necessary Evil: The Villains of DC Comics: Surely this documentary will give special attention to perhaps the single most reviled and feared villain the company has had in years: Co-publisher Dan DiDio.

Sugarfoot Season 2: New from Warner Archive is the second season of perhaps its most popular Western from the classic TV era. Well, next to "Maverick." And of course "Cheyenne." And probably "Bronco." And--aw, let's just say it was one of its most popular Western series and be thankful its out, OK?

Alice Season 4: Also from Warner Archive. It's kind of weird that this show was so ubiquitous when I was growing up, yet has disappeared now and is relegated to the Archive. I watched way more of this show than was healthy as a kid, but the last time I saw it...I didn't watch very much. Of course, the show was butchered  by ION, which surely didn't help, but still it's a very shlocky, sitcommy kind of sitcom. Still, anything with Marvin Kaplan and Dave Madden deserves a little more respect.

And in streaming:

It was a slow week at Netflix, but it did add the excellent 2008 In Bruges.

Hulu added a handful episodes of the late 1970s New Soupy Sales show because--well, why not?

The real action is on Warner Archive Instant. The service didn't add a new showcase category, but it added a variety of movies including, to name just a few, Jean Harlow in Bombshell, several Red Skelton movies including Half a Hero, Steve McQueen in The Cincinnati Kid, and the 1981 documentary This is Elvis. Granted, Netflix has thousands of titles and Warner Archive Instant is a more curated streaming provider, but still, that sounds a lot more exciting to me than Netflix adding Emily Owens M.D. Season 1.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Was this really an occupation?

I know there were a lot of occupations back in olden days that no longer exist, but when I saw "I Scream" starring Gus Shy, a short on Disc 2 of Warner Archive's Vitaphone Comedy Collection, I had to question this oneL

He's holding an ice cream cone! In fact, he has a whole little basket of ice cream cones, and he apparently has cold-called (sorry) this business meeting to try to hawk them. This despite no visible means of refrigeration. He makes his way over to the table later and starts handing them out.

I mean, we've all seen ice salesmen go around with those gigantic chunks of ice (that profession was responsible for approximately 43% of all screen comedy before 1935), but at least they went around with a big wagon and some form of  refrigeration. A door-to-door ice cream cone salesman doesn't seem like a practical vocation.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Stuff We Should Bring Back: How to refer to a year

I think anytime we refer to a calendar year of the 20th century, we should say it as, say, "19 and 45," instead of just "1945." It would be even better, of course, if we did so in a slightly world-weary but not unfriendly manner, with the clear implication that we've seen many other years besides that one and if you've got a few minutes, we'll just as likely tell you about those ones, too.

Why bring it back? It would give us all a bit more dignity and make us seem wiser or at least more thoughtful.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

Kind of a slow week, but that doesn't stop the longest running continuous feature on this blog from coming at'cha again!

The Heat: Who says two women can't headline a buddy action comedy and make money? Seriously, who does? Because Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy did, but it seems like everyone was talking about people saying it couldn't be done but nobody was actually saying it. I think this looks pretty funny, but as far as I'm concerned, no pooping in the sink scene=no sale.

Pacific Rim: One could make the argument that we're due for an influx of monster movies in the wake of tension created by the recent nuclear plant disasters in Japan. But in this case, I think Guillermo del Toro just really wanted to make a monster movie.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain: And to think that we all thought Tom Arnold would be the standup whose career would soar after "Soul Plane."

The Colony: It's somehow reassuring that, regardless of the changing realities of the movie business, whenever a movie hits video 3 weeks after its theatrical debut, we can pretty much assume it's crap.

Gentle Ben Season 1: Do you remember from back in the day this warm family show about the love between a little boy and his adorable bear pal. I hope so because in the wake of "Grizzly Man," watching this program is now a half-hour exercise in managing the anxiety of inevitable impending doom.

And in streaming...

A lot of Mario Bava appeared on Netflix Instant Watching this week, and while I could barely distinguish the guy from the dude who played Slater, genre fans should be overjoyed...unless this stuff has already been on and is just recycling through again, in which case...sorry for getting your hopes up. But at least several of these movies star Telly Savalas, so, jeez, at least be grateful for that.

Also new: Paranormal Activity 4 and more Russell Peters. If Netflix is any indication, Russell Peters must be the biggest standup comedian in the world. And he wasn't even in "Soul Plane!"

The B/W continues to stream along. I still haven't seen any information about who is behind this outfit, nor even a programming schedule, but it looks like perhaps the same lineup runs all week, including weekdays. Some other shows I noticed this week: Peter Gunn, Dennis the Menace, Tales of Tomorrow...
Hey, Let's see what's on right now, especially since the baseball game is a blowout.

Uh, oh, I'm getting an error message. Well, it was fun while it lasted! I'll continue to monitor this developing, but possibly stifled, situation. I guess it isn't streaming along.

Warner Archive Instant added a fun Joan Crawford/Bette Davis showcase category, not to mention the short-lived James Arness series McLain's Law. The TV part of this is great, I'm telling you. WAI also pleased me by adding some more 1930s and 1940s movies after a few weeks of what seemed to me like more "modern"-centric updates. The service is in a pretty good rhythm of adding new titles each Friday afternoon or so.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Antenna disappoints, Cozi delights

That's a glib headline up there, but I have been thinking about how Antenna TV's lineup is pretty much set as far as interesting shows. The long-ago-promised "December Bride" isn't coming, and while some interesting ex-RTV programs have been added and the overall Antenna lineup is quite solid, I'm not sure how much more we can expect.

Case in point: This recent Sitcoms Online article details the new shows coming to Antenna in November. They are "new" if you don't have This-TV, but otherwise, it's just kind of a trade between the sister networks. "Mister Ed" and "Patty Duke" have been on This as long as I can remember. "Green Acres" and "Flipper" are also coming from This. So what is This gonna do in November? Good question. If that outfit undergoes a long-overdue freshening of its small classic TV block, this could be a great thing.

Oh, the other shows coming to Antenna? "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Jeannie." Of course they are. Those shows are always on somewhere. Again, Antenna is a great service with lots of fine shows you don't get anywhere else. I'm just losing hope that it'll surprise us with any rarities.

On the other hand, NBC Universal's Cozi is a subchannel that surprises us every few months. Sure, there's a lot of lifestyle/magazine junk to wade through, but if you can make your way through that mess, you're treated to "Run For Your Life" and "The Bold Ones." Recently it started "The Name of the Game," and, oh, I wish I had a DVR because it's on in a graveyard slot. Just the other day, "Mr. and Mrs. North" was on, for crying out loud. "One Step Beyond" is part of its Halloween month lineup. Even the shows of more recent vintage feel fresher, programs like "The Six Million Dollar Man" that didn't get much rerun play in recent years.

Cozi is only half a classic TV network, but what a half it is. I admire its willingness--so far--to bring some different vintage TV shows to our screens. Antenna is relying on, well, the old reliables, and that's not a bad thing. But it does make me less excited about Antenna.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Possible Cool Thing Alert: The B/W (only on Roku...or is it?)

Just added to the Roku Channel Store is The B/W, a live streaming service which bills itself as "Black and White done right" and is ad-supported but free. I haven't found any information about this new channel, but I have been checking in throughout the weekend, and so far, it's pretty impressive.

I had a few glitches, but overall, the presentation is pretty smooth. At any given time, you'll see the show with a little bit of clutter at the bottom: a note of what's on now, what's on next, and the B/W logo (which as I write this is NOT black and white, but green and a little too big and frankly really annoying). I could do without the clutter, but it's about typical for today's environment. The now and next bits of info could go, though.

There is no on-demand option here; you get what they're showing. But what they're showing is spectacular. When I saw the channel, I assumed it would be a parade of the usual public domain staples, and there are some of those, but overall, there is a diverse lineup including some very high-profile shows. I question the legality of this enterprise, but the ads from the likes of Best Buy and MySpace look legit, so maybe the whole thing is indeed on the up and up. Just in case, enjoy it while it lasts!

Let me get to what I've seen. I haven't sat down and watched anything start to finish, so I can't comment on whether the shows are edited or not, but the ad breaks look more like Hulu (short and repetitive) than on a subchannel or cable channel. So far I've noticed: Rin-Tin-Tin, I Love Lucy, Dick Van Dyke Show, Gunsmoke, Rawhide, Space Patrol, Fireball X-9, the Batman and Robin movie serial (!), The Addams Family, Mike Hammer, Peter Gunn, Dragnet, Robin Hood and Robinson Crusoe, The Three Stooges, and last night there was an Abbott and Costello movie. In between shows, the occasional black-and-white retromercial runs. What I have NOT noticed: Infomercials, inane lifestyle programs, recent syndicated fare like "Da Vinci's Inquest."

Folks, could we actually have a great "channel" here? I have no idea if this is a web entity or just a Roku thing. I kind of hope it's just a Roku thing because that might keep it under the radar. But be on the lookout for it if you have that little black box.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

The Hangover Part 3: Seriously? Whenever a movie like this comes out, they should just put the salaries right next to everyone's name, right there for moviegoers to peruse when they're thinking of paying 12 bucks to see the film.

After Earth: It's sad that even when they try to hide the fact that M. Night Shyamalan is involved, nobody wants to see an M. Night Shyamalan movie anymore. Did you know that Shyamalan has a book out about education reform? Me, neither. That's interesting, isn't it? It is to me. This movie, not so much.


Much Ado About Nothing: Joss Whedon made this Shakespeare adaption on the cheap in between blockbusters, and I guess that's pretty cool, but wouldn't it be cooler if he made a $200 million Shakespeare movie and then did a low-budget Avengers flick?

The Purge: I know nothing about this horror film, but it looks like it made some money at the box office, so I might as well list it.

Stuck in Love: I don't know anything about this, either, but, jeez, does anyone? And doesn't a movie with Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connelly deserve a little more pub?

OK, well, doesn't a movie with Jennifer Connelly deserve a little more pub?

Best of Evening at the Improv: 4 DVDs of the 1980s late night A&E staple, featuring a whole lot of standup comedy delivered in front of a brick wall. This sounds like a great idea for a DVD, but somehow it won't be the same without being interrupted by Popeil commercials. And while I appreciate the desire to give the flavor of the show by offering some of the musical guests, I'm not sure I think of a song by Alabama as part of the "best" of "Evening at the Improv."

Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection: I was never a fan of the guy even in his WCW heyday, so I'm the wrong guy to ask about the viability of a whole DVD of one Goldberg match after another. I'm sure this will sell some copies, and after all, it's not like WWE is gonna listen to me and put out a Best of the Varsity Club collection.

And in streaming...

Hey, this was a great week and a half or so since I last wrote the column. Hulu Plus added some more BBC shows, many available elsewhere, but one welcome new arrival is The Young Ones. Warner Archive Instant recently started theme categories, like Vincent Minnelli films and Los Angeles locations, as well as adding more episodes of Medical Center and the Danny Thomas 1970s sitcom The Practice.

As far as Netflix goes, this week was seemingly all about responding to my complaints. I complained that season 8 of How I Met Your Mother wasn't up yet, and then it appeared. Months ago I complained that Hulu had yanked some unaired episodes of Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23, and then the whole show appeared on Netflix. I complained about pablum-puking liberals ruining the country with their pinko policies, and then Netflix added Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie.

OK, I'm kidding about the reason for that last add, but not about its existence. I hope to write more about Mort soon, but it's a great movie and another interesting new documentary on Instant Watching, joining Salinger and Don't Stop Believin' (about Journey and its new lead singer). Also new is a batch of comedy specials, including Marc Maron: Thinky Pain, and, folks, if you haven't caught on to the brilliance that is Crash & Bernstein on Disney XD, here's your chance to see season 1.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Vault of Coolness: Marvel Fun and Games Part 3

Another look at Marvel Fun and Games #1:

I just wish one of those TVs showed, say, Joe Franklin.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Awesome 80's Video #3: "Overkill" by Men at Work

I told Colin my favorite Men at Work song is "Overkill," and he said, 'That's the thinking man's favorite Men at Work song." Thank you--that's me. 
I did have my difficulties dealing with Colin's lazy eye. That goddamn eyeball.
--Mark Goodman in "VJ"

If you think about it, isn’t Men at Work one of the weirdest breakout acts of the 1980s? They had the exotic Aussie thing going as a band, but they weren’t exactly a bunch of Mel Gibsons. They “blew up” with "Who Can It Be Now?", a song I still enjoy today, and really that whole “Business as Usual” album was huge. So how do they follow it up? With a re-release of what became their biggest and most enduring hit, “Down Under.” But even that was pretty damn close to a novelty song (though rhyming “my language” with “vegemite sandwich” was just great regardless), and the video was played for laughs. Still, they were a big deal at the eighties-ish peak of the eighties.

The album “Cargo” comes next, and then things get really interesting if you track the videos. How does Men at Work perpetuate the hit machine? With “Overkill,” the offbeat, moody subject of this post, followed by “It’s a Mistake,” an anti-war song with a spoofy video, and a horror parody called “Dr. Hekyll and Mr. Jive.” Yeah, these guys didn’t exactly aim for U2-like “meaning” in their music.

But they are quite entertaining, and I love “Overkill.” For a while, the VEVO version wasn't available, and the only copy on YouTube was a bootleg-looking clip with time code on the screen. Somehow that only  enhanced the oddball feel of the video, and I kind of regret the superior "official" version supplanting it (I don't want to link to VEVO stuff, but it's easy enough to find if you want to see this for yourself).

In "Overkill," the dark (but dappled with neon) 1980s-style visuals and night scenes blend with the insomniac lyrics to suggest paranoia and anxiety. Numerous close-ups emphasize Colin Hay’s funky eye thing, either to heighten the tension or to mess with Mark Goodman.. It all adds up to what I consider one of the most atmospheric songs/videos of the eighties and an underrated gem. I love the patented Men at Work sax riffs and the cool guitar break before the last verse. After the rush of that exhilarating final verse, though, the song ends quietly on an unsettling note. Ghosts appear and fade away…

BUT I have to confess something: This video is never as moody and atmospheric as I want it to be. Take another look at that last shot. The song is unsettling—at least to me—but it looks like daylight has arrived and things are gonna be OK. It looks like...peace…contentment, even. Boo!

There aren't quite as many of those “roaming at night” shots as I had remembered seeing as a kid, and one of the better ones is weakened somewhat by the fact that Hay is looking at a storefront that promises souvlaki. Souvlaki? Nothing against the dish, but it’s not the most noirish of foods.

Worse, there’s a shot of Hay sitting at his pad, alone, watching telly on his couch…in socks. Really, going barefoot would have been better because those socks he’s wearing are about s UN-rock and roll as you can get. The only way this scene can be redeemed is if he is watching “Faces of Death III” on that TV set.

Then there’s that last verse, the intense one I love so much, when Hay kicks his vocals up a notch or two. Well, he also starts literalizing the lyrics. "I can't get to sleep," he wails, so we see him in bed. “I’m diving in too deep,” he adds, and then he actually dives into his mattress. On one hand, this adds to that feverish, manic tension of the song. On the other hand, well, it’s goofy as hell.

So which is it? Is “Overkill” classic eighties MTV noir? Or is it another borderline comedy piece? I do wish it were more the former. You know what, though? I seriously wonder if the comedy value of their videos (and this one really isn’t that funny, nor is it supposed to be, I presume, even though I'm poking a little fun at it) diminished the respect they received as musicians.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Instant Gratification Theater: Disorderlies (1987)

I imagine you might wonder, "With scores of classic films from the Criterion Colllection available on Hulu Plus, why in the world are you spending some of your precious time on this planet watching Disorderlies on Warner Archive Instant?" And to that I say...


"Disorderlies" is over 25 years old, and people who weren't around back then might assume that in 1987 there was a legitimate reason to build a major motion picture around the rap group known as The Fat Boys. I was around back then, and I'm pretty sure it didn't make sense to us, either. The Fat Boys aren't exactly a modern-day Three Stooges, unless maybe you somehow assembled 3 Curly Joes and drained their charisma, but they aren't irritating, and that counts for something.

There's a plot that involves a battle between the Boys and a villain played by an oily Anthony Geary, but the real battle worth watching is between Ralph Bellamy and his dignity. Bellamy is the ailing rich dude the Boys are caring for, and he goes all out. In fact, the more I see 1980s Ralph Bellamy, the more I love him. Not only was he a great sport in his heyday losing all those women to Cary Grant, but as he matured, he was willing to play increasingly immature characters in films like "Trading Places." Only in "Disorderlies," though, do you get to see an elderly Ralph Bellamy go clubbin' and ask someone if they'll stop illin'.

Bellamy and Geary deliver amusing performances, and there are a few chuckles from the movie's slapstick antics. I also find a certain pleasant time capsule element here. Let's be honest, though, "Disorderlies" is no hidden gem. It is an enjoyable piece of cheese to tide you over between Criterion offerings, though.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

This Week in DVD and Instant Watching

The Croods: I remember seeing the poster for this all the way back in December when I saw "Lincoln" and thinking, OK, family movie, but what the heck is this about? Well, I still have no idea what this is about.

This Is the End: Each time these guys get together to be a movie now, I have to ask, do we need weed to enjoy it? Because I'm not into that, so...yeah, I might as well just not bother, right?

The Frozen Ground: Cage and Cusack. Two actors of a certain age and pedigree. One keeps making bizarre career decisions that dim his luster, the Nic Cage. Seriously, what HAS John Cusack done lately?

InAPPropriate Comedy: I hate, hate, hate the title of this movie and its spelling, but yet I...can't...resist...typing it.

Little Mermaid Platinum Edition: Each year about this time, Disney proves what a generous corporation it is by releasing a new edition of a video it took off the market several years prior so that nobody could buy it retail anymore. Sure, it costs more now than it ever did before, but that's because it's better! Really, we should just be thankful it's available again.

The Wizard of Oz: You know, I was a total wise-ass with that last item, but I don't have that on DVD, and I'm totally gonna buy it for my kids. As for "Wizard of Oz," everyone should own it by now, but I don't (long story), and so I might well get THIS. So I hope the 43,000K-scan or whatever they do is worth it. At least it should tie us over to the 80th Anniversary Mega Ultra 4-D edition.

From Here to Eternity 60th Anniversary: Ah...yeah, nothing against this movie, but I got to draw the line somewhere.

How I Met Your Mother Season 8: Ah, OK. NOW we'll get this streaming on Netflix, right? Right?

The Carol Burnett Show: Christmas with Carol: So last year, a Carol Burnette Xmas DVD came out, only it was episodes of "The Garry Moore Show," not, as many believed given the cover, "The Carol Burnett Show." Well, angry cranks who don't read the back of the box, here you go! As for me, gee, I really wish I had picked up that disc of "Garry Moore Show" episodes last year, and I may be looking for that this time around.

And in Instant Watching...

No How I Met Your Mother season 8 yet, but October 1 brings the monthly Big Add of catalog titles, and this time out there are many high-profile titles like Fargo, Ghostbusters, As Good As It Gets, Grease, Forrest Gump...You'll probably find something you like in there. You'll probably have seen it already, but still. Also, Walking Dead season 3 arrives with a few weeks for you to catch up before the new season starts.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I really respect this book for existing

While catching up on some magazines, I saw an ad (why does everyone say "stumbled upon"? I remained upright the whole time, I assure you) for BearManor Media. The page displayed an array of titles the publisher offered.

Now, I do not in any way intend to demean the good folks there, the people that wrote this book, nor those who might buy this book. I love that BearManor is committed to putting out so many pop culture books every year, including quite a few that, even to us junkies, appear somewhat...esoteric.

So in all sincerity, let me say how much I appreciate that there even IS "Hardcastle and McCormick: A Complete Viewer's Guide to the Classic Eighties Action Series."

So if you're at all interested, go buy it, and if you're not, you still have to love a company that publishes it, so go to their website, anyway.