Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Comic Book Day 2009

This Saturday, May 2, marks the return of Free Comic Book Day! As the name would suggest, it's a day when everyone can get free comic books. It's also a time for the comic book industry to turn the spotlight on themselves and promote new products and bring new readers to the world of comics.

All you have to do is go to just about any comic book store on Saturday and there will be tons of free books waiting for you. And these aren't old books they can't get rid of - all the freebies on Free Comic Book Day are brand new publications created especially for the day. Some of them are introductions to new series and some are just bonus issues of old favorites.


They try to make the promotion appeal to readers of all ages. Last year, my little ones not only picked up a few colorful comics but they also got Free Comic Book Day balloons, lollipops and even figures and posters. I also enjoy the day because, who doesn't like free stuff...and also there's always some good cartoon related books to be found.


Here's some of what is to be found this year...

  • The launch of the new Cars comic book
  • A Bongo Comics Sampler featuring The Simpsons and other humor titles
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Archie
  • Transformers Animated/G.I. Joe
  • DC Kids featuring little kid friendly versions of Batman & Co.
  • Nancy & Melvin Monster - yes, the Nancy from the funny pages
  • Sonic The Hedgehog
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

That's quite a collection of goodies! In the years past, there has always been a classic Disney book...the company that owns the rights to print the old Disney comics is having some restructuring issues right now, so who knows if we'll see Mickey or Donald at this years event! For more information, and to find a comic shop near you visit the Free Comic Book Day website.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Week In Movies - Super This...Wonder That

I was planning on going to see Earth this weekend, but the weather was so incredibly nice that I felt bad spending time inside a dark theatre. I had a great time experiencing the real Earth instead. Good Times! Here's what I did catch though...

Superdad (1973) It's amazing how the folks at Disney can be responsible for some of the most timeless movies ever made and also some of the most dated movies ever committed to film. Superdad falls into the dated category. Every scene in this film is dripping with early 1970's: from the wardrobe, to the sets, the music, and the outdated ridiculous way everyone behaves in this movie. Don't get me wrong! It's a a fun film with Kurt Russel in his eighth film for the Disney studios and Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane, taking a break from his hobby of shooting homemade pornography, in his only leading role on the big screen. Crane plays a father who tries to breakup his daughter and her boyfriend by setting her up with a fake scholarship to a far away school. The hilarity climaxes when Dad must face off against a crazy hippie to save his daughter. The ending of the film kind of has nothing to do with the rest of the movie, but a movie needs an ending....right!? This is good stuff here, folks. You've also got on board Disney favorites Joe Flynn and Mr. Dick Van Patten, plus it's got Ed Begley Jr. and Bruno Kirby in very early roles. I've had this movie on tape for many years, but was thrilled to recently upgrade it to DVD thanks to the exclusive offerings at the Disney Movie Club.

Marley & Me (2008) My kids really wanted to see this when it came out, and my wife and I really wanted to see it too, but we decided to wait for the DVD - more because of the two hour running time than the tear jerking ending. (My three year old seems to have about 70 mins. worth of movie viewing time in him before he starts to get restless, my five year old son could sit and watch Revenge of the Sith two or three times in a row without moving!) Now, I don't want to sound like everyone else in the world who's read a book before it was turned into a movie...but since this is only the third time I've actually read the book before the movie (The Cat in the Hat counts, right!?) I've earned the right to express my literary comparison. The movie is good and stays pretty faithful to the book. It slightly rearranges some events but for the most part one could call this a faithful adaptation. In the book, however, there is more of a relationship between the dog and his male master, played in the movie by Owen Wilson. In the film, the relationship between Marley and the family seems pretty balanced, but in the book there is more of a friendship between the dog and the man. So when you get to the end of the book, you really feel the connection between the two - in the movie, it's more how the family as a whole deals with Marley. In the end, a well done movie. It's not a kids movie, even though it's rated PG and has cute puppies. It's a family movie, probably best suited for kids a little older than 3 & 5. But just for the record: the 3 year old fell asleep about 10 minutes in and the 5 year old cried his little eyes out at the end.

Wonder Woman (2009) I got this from Netflix to watch with the kids since we're on such a super hero kick around here but I ended up watching it by myself and I glad I did. This new animated movie carries a PG-13 rating and had it been a live action film it would have certainly gotten an R rating. (Actually, this cartoon was first rated R and they went back and made some cuts to get the PG-13.) The violence in this movie is brutal. Several people get their heads cut off, we see a sword go straight through some girls chest and there's lots of other chopping and hacking along the way as well. The language never goes beyond a "damn" or a "crap" but there are some sexual jokes and a scene where Wonder Woman and some dude do 12 shots of tequila. It's kind of offsetting watching a cartoon that looks like a Saturday morning show but has buckets of blood and hooker jokes. However, this new Wonder Woman is fun and loaded with plenty of action all while keeping a good sense of humor about itself...but I'm glad the kids didn't see it!

Trouble The Water (2008) This is, like, the 70th documentary I've watched about Hurricane Katrina. This one sets itself apart from the other by featuring home video shot by a woman who lived three blocks from the failed levees and captured the whole thing on tape while her house flooded all the way up to the attic. There's some shocking and brand new footage here of what it was like to be inside the storm. The film starts off pretty strong but by the time it follows people moving to different states to start their life over, the flow and urgency of the film is lost. At one hour and forty-five minutes, they probably could have shaved another 10-15 minutes off the movie, but it's still a pretty powerful look back and a reminder of a horrible chapter in this country's history. (You can catch this movie on HBO this month.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fred and Barney Try To Get Into A Club

Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and American Dad, also has an internet series called Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy. Each episode is basically a "blackout" sketch similar to the cutaways used in Family Guy. Here's one of the latest instalments which features our good friends Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble. The language in this skit a hair more course than you might be used to here at WWoB, but if you're familiar with Seth MacFarlane's work - this is tame. It's all in good fun...


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Watch ALF Online

If you are reading this than that means one of two things: you have access to the internet or my works have finally been published in a beautiful leather bound keepsake volume that your family will treasure for generations. Assuming it's the first one, and you're wired for internet, than you now officially have no excuse to not be watching one of the best TV shows of al time, ALF. To compete with Hulu, YouTube now have full length movies and TV shows available for free viewing. One of the shows that seem to be plugging the most, in ads and press releases, is the good ol' Alfer! They currently have the first three seasons ready for you to watch!


Just hop on over to YouTube.com and click on the "Shows" button in the top banner. There, you'll have access to tons of shows like She-Ra, My Mother The Car, Jack Benny and many more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Time I Did A Photo Shoot With A Bunch of Bikini Models

There are a handful of stories from my college days that I look back upon and have to file under the heading "How In The World Did That Happen?" There's the time I found myself judging a beauty pageant, or the time I had ice cream at the Double T Diner with Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise, and the time I ended up at a veterinarian's office at 2:30 in the morning with a grieving family and their dead dog (but that story I'm saving for a screenplay). And then there's the time I did a photo shoot with a gaggle of bikini clad girls.


In the mid-90's I did a wacky Morning Zoo-style radio show on our college radio station. A good friend of mine, who we also considered the station's promotions manager, ended up getting us a promotional deal with a surf shop in Towson. It was something along the lines that if people went into the surf shop and mentioned the "Wacky Wake Up Show with Mr. Ed" they'd get some discount on some brand of suntan lotion...or something like that. They also gave the station prizes to give away on the air. We got the surf shop to give us free swimsuits for a few girls to wear to make a poster or two announcing our big deal! We all ready knew which girls on campus we wanted to recruit for our poster. A few of them had modeling experience, one of them was even Miss Teen USA (or something like that) and yes, some of them had work experience at Hooters on their resume. We had no trouble at all getting a photographer on board. A semi-professional photographer who took pictures for the school paper was happy to help out, and even supplied all the equipment and film.

Needless to say, it was a fun afternoon. I don't have any of the original photographs - as the photographer turned out to be a little too protective of the finished project. I did manage, at the time, to photocopy about a million copies of some of the pictures...

We shot these photos at the sports complex of our college. The second photo above was actually taken against the maintenance shed.



I don't know what's going on in that top picture, although you don't see me complaining. I always thought it was kind of funny that we used the sand trap at the golfing range to double as a beach in that picture. I'm sure you could tell we were on sand if I had the actual photograph.

Good times! I don't remember much else about the promotion except months later the surf shop tried to tell us that we owed them $300 bucks for the swimsuits!? They went out of business before we could resolve that dispute. But these blue tinted photocopies will live on forever!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Week In Movies - Superheroes Done Right

Batman and Robin (1997) is, in my opinion, one of the best superhero movies ever made. Many Batman fans put this instalment at the bottom of their list of Batman movies, but they are just Bat-dumb! For people who grew up watching the 1960's Batman live-action television series, this film is a kindred spirit. It is done right! The movie starts, you get Batman and Robin right away. They crack a couple of jokes, Commissioner Gordon calls and they're off to battle a villain. It all gets right to the point! Good stuff! Super Hero movies should be fun and for some reason that almost always gets lost in favor of backstory and endless scenes of the hero as their alter-ego. Lame! While Batman and Robin might be a silly movie, it moves quick and is filled with action and humor.

I'm not much of a George Clooney fan, but he makes a good Batman. And Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl...this is one of the only other movies that she made after Clueless that is watchable. And in case you're wondering - Yes, my son Elias LOVED this movie!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bob-Howdy! I Loves Movies!

Just a random movie meme that I found on the internet. Feel free to answer any or all of these questions in the comments section!


1.Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
When I was little there were several movies that I watched a million times on HBO. The ones that stick out in my head the most are The Cannonball Run, 9 to 5, The Incredible Shrinking Woman and Popeye. In more recent years, the only two I've watched a ton of times are Ace Ventura Pet Detective - which we used to watch religiously in college, and Spice World - a movie I could never get enough of!

2.Name a movie that you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.
My top two answers are The Little Mermaid - which I've seen 7 times at the movies, and The Flintstones which I made it to 6 times (three of them being opening day).

3.Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
Woody Allen

4.Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
Jack Black, although his new one, Year One, looks pretty good.

5.Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
Smokey and the Bandit - at least once a day!

6.Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
The Little Mermaid, of course. I could also do Little Shop of Horrors, but that's because I've been in the play before.

7.Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
Xanadu and The Great Muppet Caper

8.Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken is a really good movie most people haven't seen. I'm also a big fan of the under appreciated A Goofy Movie.

9.Name a movie that you own.
I just got Ducktales The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp on DVD!

10.Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Even though he's only recently started making good movies, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a really entertaining fella!

11.Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
I know I've seen 101 Dalmatians and Mary Poppins at a drive-in when I was younger. In college, we went to a triple features of The Adventures of Pinocchio, Kingpin, and Down Periscope. (The theme was actors from Cheers) Another time we went to a double billing of Free Willy 2 and Under Siege 2.

12.Ever made out in a movie?
That is a waste of money.

13.Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.
I really wanted to see the new Hairspray when it came out but didn't bother to rent the DVD. I just TiVo'ed it off HBO, so hopefully I'll get to watch it soon!

14.Ever walked out of a movie?
No, but I've thought about it in Dragonheart.

15.Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
I buy into movie theatrics so easy...it doesn't take much to make me tear up. Serious answer: Saving Private Ryan; Silly answer: Homeward Bound

16.What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
Monsters vs. Aliens

17.What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
Comedy...Family is a close second.

18.What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
An animated film called Once Upon A Time which has since fallen off the face of the earth.

19.What movie do you wish you had never seen?
Friday the 13th Part V - can still have nightmares about it some 20 years later!

20.What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
I was just thinking the other day about this weird movie that I saw in the theatre and really liked but I hadn't seen it since and I couldn't remember the name of it. It's a Cameron Diaz flick called A Life Less Ordinary. I don't remember much about it, but I'd like to see it again sometime.

21.What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?
The previously mentioned Friday the 13th Part V, when I was 9 Poltergiest scared the ever living hell out of me!

22.What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?
I've seen alot folks, I contend to this day that laugh-for-laugh Airplane! is the funniest movie ever made!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Classic Commercial Sunday - Bubble Gum Machine

Bubble Gum used to be big business back in the 80's! Check out this package of classic bubble gum commercials and see if you don't sing along to at least one of the jingles...


Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Week In Movies - Comebacks and Confessions

It's kind of nice that we had enough material this week to save this feature until the end of the week. Here's what I saw last week...

The Comebacks (2007) I saw this one in the theatre when it came out and really enjoyed it. As you may know, I'm a huge fan of the silly, joke-a-minute Airplane! style comedies. They are probably my favorite sub-genre of film. The Comebacks in one of the better ones to come down the pike in a while. It's much better than the "Date Movie/Epic Movie/Disaster Movie" family of films and almost as good as Scary Movie 3 & 4. The Combacks focuses on sports movies and lampoons just about every major sports flick that's come out in the last 7-8 years. There's some good sight gags, word play, and just plain silly slapstick humor to be had here. And, in my book, you can never go wrong with an unnecessary musical number!

Confessions of a Superhero (2007) I'd been wanting to see this documentary for a while. It focuses on four struggling actors who make their living standing in front of the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, dressed as famous movie Superheroes, and having their pictures taken with tourists for tips. Interesting gig, huh? We meet Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Hulk. They all have interesting stories about how they ended up doing this for a living but there really isn't enough to tell to fill up 90 minutes. The Superman guy is as obsessed with the Man of Steel as any Star Wars nerd you've ever met. He's easily the most interesting of the four. The girl that plays Wonder Woman is pretty, so that'll hold your interest but Batman and Hulk don't really add a whole lot to the picture. This movie was a good idea, it just kind of runs out of steam before it hits the finish line. It's running this month on IFC, and it's available on Netflix.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Stand Up From Joey

First of all, check out this totally 1985 dinosaur painters cap that Joey picked up at the Dinosaur Land gift shop this week. Wow!

Anyhow, you may remember back in February I mentioned that my stepson Joey had done his stand-up comedy act at a benefit variety show that was held at his school, but was open to the general public. Well, we managed to get hold of a video of the performance. There's more security surrounding video tapes at his school than there is on the new Wolverine movie, but Joye managed to borrow the official video of the show just long enough to upload his set. This audience is different from what he's played in the past so if you've seen his other stand-up video you may recognize some of the material. Either way, it's good stuff!



Joey is looking to expand his tour list, so if you know of any open mike nights that a 16 year old can do stand-up at, let us know!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Mysterious Flintstone Wall

The other day while we were driving to Dinosaur Land [see yesterday's post] we passed a house that sat up on a hill and was surrounded by a wall with a mural on it. The mural featured several scenes of Americana on it, including baseball and people dancing. I pointed it out to everyone in the car, as it's unusual to see a private residence with a mural on their property and as we passed it I did a double take. It was Fred, Wilma and the gang that were doing the dancing on this odd painting. How cool is that!? At the encouragement of my wife (who always plays along with my obsession of everything Flintstone and Yogi Bear related) we made the next turn, drove down a few blocks and came up the main road again so we could slow down and snap a few pictures of it. It kind of looks like the kind of thing you'd see on the side of a little store in Mexico or somewhere like that, but this is actually right on a residential street in the middle of Virginia! Kind of weird, very cool, and pretty fitting since we were on our way to see Dinosaurs! Wouldn't you say?

photographs by my Wilma

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Eat This, Jurassic Park!

There is nothing I love more than little rinky-dink, homemade, old-fashioned roadside attractions! Which is why I was thrilled when the whole family wanted to go to Dinosaur Land in Virginia this past weekend. I had never been before, but I've seen brochures and read about it since I was little and I've always wanted to go. If you put anything behind a wall, and then charge an admission to see it - I'm there! And if I know what's behind the wall is tacky, I'm even more there!
Dinosaur Land was built in 1968, and I assume much hasn't changed since then. You enter the park from a door in the park's gift shop. From there, you travel through a small cave which lets you out in a forest of happy trees similar to the old Apple Pie Tree at McDonald's. Once you make your way through the trees you enter another cave and then you come face to face with a giant shark. Don't worry, you can get inside the shark and have your picture snapped looking out through the shark's toothy grin. From there you go under a giant octopus and then you get to the dinosaurs. There must be at least 30 of the giants spread out along a path that winds through a small wooded area. There's no rides. There's no shows. There's not even anything mechanical. The closest thing to an interactive attraction is a huge figure of King Kong that you can climb up to via a ramp and have your picture taken in Kong's hand. Heck, they used to charge $22 bucks to do that at Universal Studios! It's included with your admission to Dinosaur Land provided you bring a camera. In a world of Twitter, iPods, three episodes of Dancing with the Stars a week, and million dollar theme parks; Dinosaur Land is a nice reminder of the way things used to be. All five of us had a blast! Here's some pics:

Here's Mom and the kids with a baby Triceratops. Isn't he cute?


Always a dork: Here's me reenacting the opening of The Flintstones where Fred slides down the back of his Bronto-crane.


We all like taking stupid pictures!












Monday, April 13, 2009

Miley's Muffins

First off, for those of you that are confused, let me set the record straight on my relationship with Hannah Montana. While I am a huge fan of the World of Disney, my allegiance to the company starts to wear out in the land of Disney Channel. I have only watched the Hannah Montana TV show one time! Yes, I copied the Miley Cyrus CD from someone (someone being a 9 year old girl) and I may have watched the better part of her concert film on Starz...but that's only because it was in HD and it looked really good on our TV! That being said, I do not consider myself a Hannah Montana fan of any sort. However, I find the merchandising of Ms. Montana to be endlessly hilarious. They have plastered her photo on more things in the last year than Batman's got in the last 60 years! They are obviously running out of things to cash in on which is why the bakery at my local supermarket had an entire Hannah Montana section set up this weekend. I suppose a HM cake isn't too crazy, and they have the prepackaged Twinkies-like HM cakes...but Hannah Montana Rockin' Berry Muffins??? Really folks, do we need that!? They are filled with little bits of mystery substance that are pink and purple. In fact, looking at this picture I can't believe I didn't pick up a box. I'm sure they are a great way to start off your day - Montana Style!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Classic Commercial Sunday - Easter Edition

Happy Easter! Today for Classic Commercial Sunday we present two of the most fondly remembered Easter commercials of all time...



Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Parade

Here's some this and thats that you can stuff in your basket...

*At Tanner's preschool they have a little Easter parade every year where the kids make Easter bonnets or Easter Ties and then they march around the building visiting other classes. Of course it's tradition that the boys make ties and the girls make the bonnets but Tanner has to go against the flow of traffic and he insisted on making an Easter bonnet. Not just any Easter bonnet, but one with pink chicks and bright yellow ribbons on it. Then he got mad if anyone called it a bonnet, it was just an Easter Hat he insisted!


*Batman has taken the top spot in our house this week as favorite Super Hero/thing to play all the time. Elias has been especially enamored with The Riddler's cane, so we made a crude version of our own using a paper towel roll, a cut up pizza box and some construction paper. It got the job done for the time being, but Elias wanted to make a more realistic cane. I took him up on the challenge, and we're currently in the process of making a Riddler cane out of wood with a plastic question mark on top and then painting the whole thing yellow. We'll get some pics up when it's all done!

*I've been holding on to two links forever, thinking I was going to do one of those Weekend/Friday Fun Links post...but I've only collected two over the last 9 months so now is as good a time as any to dump them on ya: My friend Amy sent me a link to instructions on how to build your own Flintstones car! (If anyone wants to build me one, I'd appreciate it!) And I wanted to show you all this awesome shopping cart that another friend posted about a while ago. I would shop anywhere that had these carts!

*The other night while climbing into bed Tanner said, "I hope the man that makes the thunder storms and rain doesn't come tonight!" And I asked, "Who is that man, Tanner?" And his response...."John McCain"

*In my travels I pass a homemade sign on the side of the road that says "Mini Donkey For Sale" The sign has been sitting there for at least three years which makes me wonder...Is the donkey still mini-sized!?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My Week In Movies - Fore!

Are you ready for this one...

Who's Your Caddy? (2007) Why do I feel the need to watch such dumb movies? Basically, this is an "urban" remake of Caddyshack without the gopher puppet...or any of the other really funny parts. One of those hip-hop guys wants to join a snooty South Carolina golf and polo club, but the snooty (and racist) president of the club doesn't want that to happen. Oh, the lenghts a rich white guy will go to just to keep a black guy out of his country club! The first half hour was silly and kind of funny but when the film moves into the second half it's just coasting on situations and characters we've seen a thousand times. Except for the souped up golf cart featured in the poster... it has spinning rims, folks! Can you imagine the laughs the guys in the art department had putting together a funny golf cart?!


Thrill Ride: The Science of Fun (1997) I saw this IMAX film at the Maryland Science Center ten years ago and decided to rent the DVD to see what an IMAX film would be like in my newly christened home theatre. I remember being a bit disappointed in the film when I originally saw it and the DVD reminded me why. The title, poster, and DVD box suggest a look into roller coaster and other such rides. After six or seven minutes of roller coasters the movie focuses on motion simulator rides. Basically the point of this movie was to give museums, science centers and other IMAX equipped venues the opportunity to run a slightly more commercial program than the usual travel and nature docs IMAX offered. There are several extended clips of the movies used in simulator rides across the country. Most of the Back to the Future ride from Universal Studios is shown and the entire ride of an attraction in Vegas' Luxor resort is shown. Unless your TV is at least 50", there's little point of watching this film at home. Nowadays there's an IMAX screen at many neighborhood theatres which regularly offer blockbuster Hollywood movies in the giant screen experience, making Thrill Ride an outdated gimmick and product of it's time.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Chomping Down Hill

Here at WWoB, we love anything that has to do with our good ol' buddy Pac-Man...
...which is why today we're running this newspaper clipping of people dressed up like Pac & Co. hitting the slopes. There's nothing like a nice warm mug of power pellets to keep ya going after a long day of skiing!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Classic Commercial Sunday #1

Sadly, most of the time I waste on YouTube is devoted to watching old television commercials.


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Anatomy of an Entertainment Center

I saw posts similar to this on some other blogs and had to take a stab at it myself!This is my entertainment center! To me, the focal point of it is my video collection. I have been an avid collector of video since 1987. At one time my video tape collection consisted of 2,400 different movies and programs spread out over close to 900 tapes. After changing my address a few times in the early 2000's, I thinned out the collection a great deal but I've never lost my love of VHS...and then DVD. I've tried to reel it in a bit over the last few years but I still have enough DVDs and tapes to open up my own Blockbuster store!


The photo above does not represent my entire video collection, nor is it where I do most of my film and TV watching. This is the former Playroom of the house, that I shared with the kids toys. We recently moved the Playroom to an upstairs room and we've made some additions to our living room that make it the prime spot for viewing. The TV here in the playroom is a 20" RCA that I got for Christmas when I was a senior in high school....19 years ago. The set still works great! However, now the screenings happen on a 42" widescreen set in the living room. Just a few weeks ago we dropped Comcast cable in favor of DirecTV with HD, plus we got an HD DVR in there. I topped it all off with a new HD-up conversion DVD player and surround sound. Yes, it's all pretty sweet! But let's take a look at the movie collection...

This is the main portion of my DVD/Video collection. (I refer to it as "the archives") I'm all about sorting titles into different categories. I worked at four different video stores in my younger days, it's ingrained in me. Let's dig in: Top Shelf is Disney Parks VHS (easily my favorite tapes to collect) and some other older Disney clamshell videos including the original 1990 Little Mermaid box with the naughty cover! Also up there are a collection of Disney Parks DVDs. Some of them you can get for free from the Disney World website, others are souvenirs from the parks.

The next double-layered shelf features all the Walt Disney animated features in order of theatrical release. After that I have the majority of the theatrical films produced by the Walt Disney television animation department, as well as some classic Disney shorts compilations and a few other odds and ends from Disney. On the end are the complete set of Walt Disney's True-Life Adventures and the first volumes of DuckTales and Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers. The line of videos stacked on top are the (almost complete) line of Direct-to-video sequels that Disney churned out over the last decade and a half. There's also some space up there to stash new DVDs that I haven't officially put into the archives yet.

Moving down to the DVD rack, the top rack is filled with the Walt Disney Treasures line. I have 27 out of the 28 volumes released. I'll get that last one soon enough. (For fans of the series, Yes - I have all the tins the sets came in. I've got them all in a box down in the storage room. I tend to dip into these DVDs quite a bit and got tired of messing with the tins everytime I wanted to watch one.) After the Treasures is a collection of Walt Disney's work on television and the entire slate of Pixar movies (minus The Incredibles).

Next is an entire shelf of Disney live-action pictures, starting with 1950's Treasure Island and moving all the way down to Herbie Fully Loaded from 2005. Under that collection I have my very favorite (non-Disney) films that I have on DVD. As you can tell, I obviously collect Disney - but I try to be a little more selective when it comes to non-Disney fare. But, here is where you'll find all of my favorite movies from A to Z. Well, actually A to L, the next shelf down has M to Z.


The bottom shelf in the DVD rack houses some animation titles, Muppets, television, documentaries, and the Peanuts collection.


This space is in the actual entertainment center, which I've devoted to television series and animation box sets. I've got the whole run of ALF, The Flintstones and Sledge Hammer. I'm keeping up with The Muppet Shows seasons as they are released. Behind these DVDs, are some older VHS tapes - some rare like Big Bands in Disneyland and The Hanna-Barbera All Star Comedy Ice Review.


Here's more DVDs and videos that haven't found a home yet. They are stacked on top of my DVD recorder and a surround sound system from 1994 that still kicks. It's got 40 year old speakers connected to it! Underneath you can see some homeless VCRs, a DVD player and -thank you very much - a laserdisc player. It still works if you have 25 minutes to kill getting the player to read a disc. Oh, and there's a crate full of laser discs just out of frame. (That's another post!)

In another section of the room, I have this shelf full of Disney VHS tapes. I love hunting at yard sales and flea markets for good ol' Disney tapes - and this is where I keep them. The bottom shelf has got some real rare stuff like Disney Educational Productions and a copy of the never released to video Song of the South.



Out of sight, under my TV is relics from my original video collection. Most of this stuff is taped off television, but I've got some real gems hidden in these tapes. This collection goes four rows back on both levels. The less organized side has some move VHS and also some DVDs that I just don't have room to display. It took me a long time to realize that all my movies didn't have to be visible all at once. Baby steps....



Eight drawers full of more VHS. There's some good movies in here that haven't made it to DVD yet, and a bunch of old stuff I got off the Disney Channel before they started airing Zach and Cody 14 times a day. I've also got in here my own personal contribution to the entertainment world, every episode of my public access cable show plus a couple of short films and video tapes of plays I wrote and produced.


One more shelf....some more good ol' VHS. More of my favorite movies, most of which I haven't upgraded to DVD but there's a few in there that I just can't seem to part with even though I've got digital copies.

In conclusion: No, you can't borrow any of them. It's doubtful I'll ever get around to making a copy of anything for you. Yes, you can come over whenever you want and watch something!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

My Week In Movies - Viva la Jewel Thieves

The Boatniks (1970) As we all know, I'll watch anything with the Walt Disney name on it, especially the films made shortly after Walt's death in 1966. The studio was without their leader, and for a while didn't know what direction to go in. As a result, they produced some bizarre films that are only around to this day because of the Disney name. The Boatniks is one such film as it is drenched in outdated 1970's style. Let's start with the title. I suppose that's supposed to be a play on the word "beatnik"? I don't know!? The story involves the Coast Guard, a marina full of wacky boaters and a trio of bumbling jewel thieves. Now, I have movies about crime...the crime of the century, the perfect crime, the jewel heist of the millennium...I'm not a big fan of the genre. But when you've got bumbling jewel thieves, I'm all in. Here the bad guys are played by the great Phil Silvers, Norman "Mr. Roper" Fell, and Mickey Shaughnessy. Some of you probably don't know who Phil Silvers is, but if you ever see his name on a DVD box you will be doing yourself a favor by watching the movie on that DVD. He is a delight! The cast also includes Don Ameche, Stephanie Powers (Hart to Hart), Al Lewis (Grandpa Munster), the guy from Car 54, Where Are You?, and some guy named Robert Morse, who is apparently on Mad Men now.


Fantasia 2000 (2000) We were listening to the soundtrack for the original Fantasia in the car, and the kids were intrigued by it. They wanted to watch it, but I had a feeling the two hour and 5 minute running time might be a bit much for them, so we went with the follow-up film, Fantasia 2000 which only clocks in at 75 minutes. This movie is every bit the work of art the original 1940 motion picture is. It's beautiful to both the eyes and ears and it's a real nice way to show off a home theatre system. Walt Disney's original idea with Fantasia was to have the film constantly re-released with new segments replacing existing segments. The dream was never fully realized until 60 years later when Walt's nephew Roy took one segment from the first Fantasia and then created seven new musical scenes to wrap around it. The result is very entertaining. One of the segments in this newer film is set to Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance. The visuals involve Donald Duck helping Noah fill his ark with all the sets of animals. This scene alone is worth the price of admission and in my opinion one of the finest pieces of animation to come out of the Walt Disney Studios in the last 40 years.

Miss March (2009) Folks, I love a good "high concept" film. A high school senior falls down a flight of stairs, crashes into a tool bench and goes into a coma. When he awakes four years later, everyone has abandoned him except his best friend. The guy wants to know what happened to his girlfriend and as it turns out, she's the centerfold in this month's issue of Playboy magazine. So, the two guys set off on a cross-country trip to the Playboy Mansion to find the girlfriend. What makes this movie work, is that the movie knows that it's premise is ridiculous. This movie does not take itself serious for a moment and all the situations and wacky predicaments these two guys get themselves into are played out to comic extremes. I have very low expectations going into this movie and I was pleasantly surprised. And I'm glad I got out to the theatre and saw it when I did because it only lasted two weeks in my local cinema. It's grossed only $60 thousand bucks in three weeks.


Grossing slightly higher is Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) which grossed an impressive $60 Million in just three days! My kids were so pumped up for this movie and I've gotta admit I was looking forward to it too. Unfortunately, like so many other movies coming out these days, it was just so-so. They started off with a good idea: the government enlists the help of several 1950's B-movie style monsters to save the world from an alien invasion. It's a well done movie, but all the funny parts were given away in the commercials. And they've been heavily advertising this movie since last Fall. Kids don't care about any of that...they loved it! Both of mine were laughing throughout and spent the rest of the evening after the movie playing Monsters vs. Aliens in their playroom. If you like all the other DreamWorks animated films, they you're sure to like this one too. Myself, I was a little disappointed.
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