Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Overlooked Films And/Or Other A/V: the links and more

Thanks as always to those who have posted the reviews and citations at the links below, and to you readers; as frequently, a few of the probable contributions will be added over the course of the day (and, as always, please let me know if I've missed your or someone else's contribution in comments).

Bill Crider: La fille de d'Artagnan (aka Revenge of the Musketeers) [trailer]

Brent McKee: The 2012-13 US Commercial Television Season (on the more popular broadcast networks, anyway)

Brian Arnold: Head (1968)

Ed Gorman: Lee Marvin in The Killers by Fred Blosser

Evan Lewis: The films (and posters) of Tom Keene

George Kelley: Narek Hakhnazaryan in recital; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Iba Dawson: People Will Talk

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.: Gold Raiders

Jack Seabrook: Robert Bloch on Television: "Final Performance" (The Alfred Hitchcock Hour)

Jackie Kashian, Corey Olsen: The Lord of the Rings and related Tolkien works and others: text vs. film

Jake Hinkson: the films of Sterling Hayden

James Reasoner: Legend (1995 television series)

Jerry House: Watch Mr. Wizard and Don Herbert's subsequent series

John Charles: The Deadly and the Beautiful

Juri Nummelin: L'ultimo squalo (aka The Last Shark aka The Last Jaws)

Kate Laity: A Gun for George (from The Reprisalizer)

Marty McKee: The Angel Collection

Michael Shonk: Renegade (television series pilot episode, 1992)

Mike Tooney: Perry Mason first television series finale: "The Case of the Final Fade-Out"

Patti Abbott: The More the Merrier

Randy Johnson: They Won't Forget

Rod Lott: Delinquent Schoolgirls (1975)

Ron Scheer: Man in the Saddle

Scott Cupp: The Seeker (aka The Seeker: The Dark is Rising and The Dark is Rising, after the novel of the same title)

Sergio Angelini: Town on Trial (1957)

Stacia Jones: Rope; The White Shadow (1923)

Steve Lewis: Bedroom Eyes II

Todd Mason: The Thrilling Adventure Hour: Beyond Belief "GoatBusters"; Rock Slyde; The Mark Twain Audio Collection (HarperAudio, assembled from the Caedmon archives)(please see below)

Walter Albert: Mockery (1927)

Yvette Banek: Timeline (2003)

"Zybahn"/Frank: Harper's Island: "Whap" (pilot)

Retro Humor

The Thrilling Adventure Hour is an ongoing theatrical experience that I've plugged here before, both on its own and as one of the podcast series offered by The Nerdist site; among the regular subseries/segments, recorded as performed before an audience at the LA club Largo, my favorite is almost invariably the adventures of a happily if rather alcoholically lubricated married couple of gifted mediums (or are they collectively media?), who often find themselves cast in the role of psychic detectives and troublshooters...Sadie and Frank Doyle, portrayed by Paget Brewster and Paul F. Tompkins. These knowing recreations in radio drama format bask in the traditions of screwball comedy and the kind of high farce that Noel Coward offered in Blithe Spirit, though echoes of the fiction of Thorne Smith and the adventures of Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles are also heard. In this episode, with a fine guest cast including Gillian Jacobs (most visible on the tv series Community) and fine, if last-minute, replacement-players Natalie Morales (co-star of The Minuteman series and occasionally seen more recently on Parks and Recreation) and Matt Gourley (of the Superego comedy troupe and podcast), the Doyles have to contend with shape-shifting curses, a chupacabra, a resentful witch and a goat that has them pining for a pet, if a less aromatic one. Great fun, even if the episode title will annoy the null-punsters among us: "GoatBusters."

Another farce, filmed and perhaps a bit less imaginative if also slicker, is the pleasant PI and cult religion parody Rock Slyde. This 2009 release went directly to video, and probably wouldn't've fared too well in theaters, but it remains goofy good fun throughout, and Patrick Warburton is a past master at this kind of bluff, not completely foolish character; he gets good support from Rena Sofer as the client with dangerous secrets, Elaine Hendrix (also in The Middleman) as his perky and usually sensible secretary, and Andy Dick as the quasi-religious cult leader who is the bane of Slyde's existence, attempting to harass and/or blackmail him out of his office sweet so that the House of Bartology can take over the entire office building they uncomfortably share. Some of the jokes misfire, and giving Sofer's character the name Sara Lee, even if does rhyme with Hendrix's Judy Bee, was less than inspired, but more than enough of writer/director Chris Dowling's script is clever and deft enough to make for a very pleasant viewing...not nearly as tired as most post-Airplane!/Police Squad farces have tended to be of late.

I'd been noting that some of the HarperAudio cd repackages of the materials from the Caedmon Records archives look like they're on their way out of print, or at least are going for remainder prices in a number of cases, so decided to indulge, and among the first set of items I've picked up is The Mark Twain Audio Collection, which compiles the contents of several albums (7 hours worth on six cds), including one which I loved as a kid, split between Walter Brennan reading "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" and what they've tagged as "Jim Baker's Bluejay Yarn," from the travelog book A Tramp Abroad, the flipside of the vinyl LP devoted to Brandon De Wilde reading pivotal chapters from the central section of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. The balance of the current set is devoted to Ed Begley, Sr. and Will Geer reading excerpts from Roughing It, Life on the Mississippi, and The Autobiography of Mark Twain (first edition), and Geer and David Wayne reading further short stories...as someone who pored over the big Charles Neider collections as a kid, these are mostly familiar, but I haven't reread them in decades nor ever heard them read. Well done, even if Geer, particularly, at times chooses to go a little too emphatic...as Begley demonstrates (and certainly Brennan and De Wilde as well), the stories and sketches make the points well enough without an extra push.


Yvette said...

Mine is just up and running, Todd. I almost made the time cut. :)

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Yvette. It's hard to be too late...or at least later than I am, myself...

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

I'd like to join in next week, if I may—should I just drop a link in the comments when the time comes around?

Juri said...

Just posted mine, after a pause.

Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Juri. Elisabeth, I'll check your blog next Tuesday morning. Consider yourself invited.