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Showing posts from September, 2021

Good Times Season One Episode Three

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Good Times came from t.v. producer Norman Lear, who had already brought the public hits shows like All In The Family and Maude, and would later bring The Jeffersons. Good Times was nominally a spin-off from Maude, although the only thing that was kept was the name of Esther Rolle's character Florida. I am doing this episode out of order because while it was filmed first and so is technically the pilot, it was broadcast third and so is the third episode of the season. The production values seem cheap and cheesy by today's standards, but aren't bad compared to other t.v. shows of the period that didn't have big budgets. The jokes are good, the performances are really good (mostly) and it's easy to see why this show caught on. That being said, this is a show that would cause a big chunk of the country in this day and age to go into meltdowns. Michael, the youngest son, is a militant who makes derogatory comments about cops and opines about the disparities between white

Frankenstein (1931)

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In 1931 two movies were made by Universal Pictures that created the genre of horror movie. The first was  Dracula . That one made a boat load of money, so of course the studio wanted to make more movies like it. As a result, they made Frankenstein. The original intent was to have the movie star Bela Lugosi, since he was now bankable as a movie monster. Lugosi didn't like the character, which in the original version of the script had been imagined as a savage killing machine and not the sympathetic creature that we ended up getting. He passed, and the original director was taken off because the studio had promised James Whale any property he wanted, and he wanted Frankenstein. Whale reworked the script, and also found Boris Karloff. Thus while Bela Lugosi lost his chance to be the king of the monster movies, the world was gifted with the talent of Mr. Karloff. He went above and beyond for Frankenstein, enduring physical torment to play the creature. Whale also insisted on Colin Cliv

Swamp Thing #1

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If you are familiar with Swamp Thing you likely know this story. Dr Alec Holland and his wife Linda are taken to a secret lab in the woods by Matt Cable. Cable obviously works for the government in some capacity, though it's not made clear what that capacity is. He just as obviously gives not a single shit about either Dr. Holland. He is only interested in them finishing their formula that makes plants grow, and that formula not making it into anyone else's hands. This fact makes some of what happens next odd. Three thugs (led by a man who looks like a sinister Mario) find the doctors at their hidden swamp lab and try to make them an offer they can't refuse. They do refuse and the thugs leave with a warning. Cable is distraught that Dr. Holland didn't somehow alert him of their presence, telepathically I suppose. Now, one would think that since their security has obviously been compromised the smart thing to do would be to move them to a new hidden location. But no, Cab

The Ghost Busters Season 1 Episode 1

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Ghostbusters is one of those franchises that inspires fan frenzy from 80's and 90's kids. Whether it's the live action antics of Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd and company, or the animated adventures of Slimer and the boys, every iteration of Ghostbusters has a devoted following. The Ghost Busters however is another story. The Ghost Busters was a Filmation show from 1975. It featured a trio of detectives named Spenser, Tracy and Kong. One of them is a gorilla, but not the one you'd think from the names.  The premier episode of the show opens on a couple of gangsters in their castle hideout discussing bringing back the ghost of a dead gangster to help them acquire an item. Johnny Brown plays the fat man, doing his best Sydney Greenstreet impression, and Billy Barty is hi sidekick doing something approximating a Peter Lorre impression. The gangster Big Al is played by Forrest Tucker, who is also the Ghost Buster Spenser. Forrest Tucker is all over the place, doing Brando, Cag