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  1. #766
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    Past Tense


    Another band new entry! This time out we get offbeat journalism in "This American Life"...



    "This American Life: Season One" was released on home video on January 29th, 2008.

    It streeted against "Invasion" ["Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" '08 remake], "King Of California", "Groundhog Day: 15th Anniversary Edition" and "The King Of Kong: A Fistful Of Quarters".

    This release was not issued a slipcover, nor insert.

    - - -

    This was a limited time exclusive release from Borders.



    Streeted for the store with a price tag of $15.99. Season one's nationwide release happened on September 23rd, 2008 for $19.99. Both seasons were released on home video. I'll cover the second at a future date. As you can see I scanned it before opening the DVD.

    This is an adaptation of the long running NPR, award-winning radio program (and podcast) on terrestrial radio. Done for Showtime. Both seasons were six, half hour long episodes.

    To give a perspective - the radio show started on November 17th, 1995 and continues today, weekly, hour long. That's a lot of content.

    There was an attempt to adapt the program in 2002; as I understand a pilot was shot, but never aired. That pilot isn't here, kinda curious.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Watching, I'm reminded of a failed newsmagazine series that few even remember. "The Wilton North Report" on Fox was hosted by Phil Cowan and Paul Robins.

    This Monday through Friday, hourly program aired after the nightly news; it replaced another bombed program, "The Late Show". It began on December 11th, 1987 and didn't last a month. All and all, twenty-one episodes were made and aired. But many segments were produced that never saw the light of day. Including the promo trailer.

    I should, this had rage from TV critics for being malicious, hated the show. They did stories on people and places with a comic slant, often with dark humor. It would've been a hit today. Ads for the premiere had scenes from a missing piece - a sperm bank.

    The doctor interviewed was so utterly giddy on all the... white gold in their possession. C'mon, that writes itself. But that segment didn't air. Could've been seen by the network as too unkind or perhaps there was a lawsuit by the company NOT to air; makes themselves look bad. Details?

    A sperm bank for... eugenics, designer babies; couples selecting from donors which have the traits they want in their child. I'm not joking, the doctor they interviewed was way too happy; funny, disturbing and creepy all mixed together. I still remember his laugh all these decades later, almost maniacal.

    Can barely find any info for this series, like it was buried. This did exist and was funny to hilarious. They had different reporters who did different styles: Nancy Collins and Greg Jackson did the serious stories; Wayne Satz did the whimsical stories and Paul Kassner did the satirical stories. With Jack LaLanne for health and science stories.

    Would call it impartial, they gave just enough rope to let their interviewee to hang themselves.

    Some were funny since it was so outlandish and the people or person involved was so sincere. Others were uncomfortable funny since all you can do is laugh - they truly believes this. Given enough time, they would've done a story on 'Flat Earthers'. Should be noted, a pre-famous Conan O'Brien contributed to segments.

    Why is called "The Wilton North Report" when the hosts are Cowan and Robins?

    When it was being sorted, producers had the title "Nightcap", the network didn't like it. So they went back, brainstormed for a better name. Some time later - they settled on what we have. They took the show's studio location, the "Wilton North Building"; on the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and North Wilton Place in Los Angeles. Producers thought it sounded prestigious like the "The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour" on PBS. And it stuck.

    "This American Life" is like that, but less dark. I liked it. Have both seasons. Bought them from different sellers on eBay. Season one was acquired on December 27th, 2020 for $7.52 total with free shipping. Arrived on January 7th, 2021, mint. As you can see I didn't open it until I did a scan of the cover.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    Haven't done one in months. And this is a short entry, okay. Welcome to Volume Six of "Dead TV Shows Not On Home Video". Since this is a large write up, just one.



    "The Gates" - The dead show aired on ABC in 2010; The series centered on the Monohan family who have moved from Chicago to an exclusive gated community (can't recall where, had better weather). Nick Monohan (Frank Grillo) has gotten a job here as the new chief of police. A job that became available when the original chief disappeared. What should have been a tranquil new life isn't - friendly neighbors and manicured lawns are a disguise.

    The secret unfolds once his predecessor is found dead; mangled, ripped to pieces.

    Turns out this community is a sanctuary; haven for vampires, werewolves, witches and other supernaturals. Someone has broken their truce and murdered. Nick now knows and is afraid of telling his family, not because he's under threat, but because of how they would react. These folks are different, not evil (well not most). Some secrets have a way of bubbling to the surface.

    The episode that stands out for me; the lycan alpha is killed by his son. Under wolf rule, the one who kills the leader becomes the new head of the pride. The problem is that the man was a drunk and an abusive husband. The kid was trying to save his mom (from a beating), accidentally killed him. He's a boy, unfit to be the new alpha. The werewolf pack is coming apart; sides being drawn. Nick is an outsider and since he has no affiliation - can mediate the dispute. He got into the mire while investigating the death.

    Left with no other exit, Nick negotiates a compromise; this can't happen now. The kid is too young, but there could be another in his stead - only as an administrator, who will take the teen under his wing, teaching him how to become an alpha and to stand down when he's ready; Lukas Ford (James Preston) is respected among the pride and is voted in as surrogate, saving the wolves from a civil war.

    Another part I liked was the vampire couple had an adopted child (can't conceive). The girl is now a pre-tween, the parents discover their ruse is exposed. The mother (Rhona Mitra) is panicking - how this news will destroy their family. The kid isn't scared or horrified; she's fascinated, full of questions and knew for years, kept it to herself. Thought that was sweet. The mother was embraced in the 1960s. The dad is... considerably older.

    All thirteen episodes aired. It also starred Marisol Nichols (who looks like Shannen Doherty), Travis Caldwell, McKaley Miller, Luke Mably, Chandra West, Skyler Samuels, Janina Gavankar and Colton Haynes. Sadly ends on a cliffhanger.

    This was the first time Haynes played a werewolf (as Brett Crezski). Once again later as Jackson Whittemore on MTV's series, "Teen Wolf" (2011).

    What's depressing is that extras already exist. The ABC website had behind-the-scenes footage filmed by the cast (Gavankar seems like a fun girl) on a flip cam AND five episode commentaries; these were only available via streaming...

    "Jurisdiction" (episode six; August 1st, 2010) - commentary by co-creator/executive producer Richard Hatem.

    "Digging The Dirt" (episode seven; August 8th, 2010) - commentary by West.

    "Dog Eat Dog" (episode eight; August 15th, 2010) - commentary by co-executive producer Gabrielle Stanton. The episode mentioned.

    "Identity Crisis" (episode nine; August 22nd, 2010) - commentary by writer Scott Nimerfro.

    "Little Girl Lost" (episode ten; September 5th, 2010) - commentary by consulting producer Robert Hewitt Wolfe.

    Plus the site had twelve audio podcast with the stars and creators. These could be put on disc, DVD-ROM extras. And yes, I downloaded them all (podcasts). They ran from four and a half minutes to fifteen and a half minutes each. It also had mock blogs by the characters Mia Mueller (played by Devyn A. Tyler) and Nick.

    If this were on The CW it would still be on the air.

    - - -



    Not sure when I'll do season two. But it's on my 'to do' list. And yeah, it's gonna be another short entry, not much I can do about it. Oh well. Come back here on April 29th, 2021 for another entry. A roll of the dice; could be a brand new, could. See you then.

    One final thing. Yesterday was the 109th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic; hit the iceberg before midnight on April 14th, 1912. Less than three hours later it fell below the Atlantic waves and into legend.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 05-13-2021 at 04:54 AM.

  2. #767
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    Another band new entry! This time out we get a second slice of offbeat journalism in "This American Life"...



    "This American Life: Season One" was released on home video on January 20th, 2009.

    It streeted against "The Express: The Ernie Davis Story", "Max Payne: Deluxe Unrated" and "Repo! The Genetic Opera".

    This release was not issued a slipcover, nor insert.

    - - -

    This was another limited time exclusive release from Borders like with season one.



    Streeted for the store with a price tag of $15.99. Season two's nationwide release happened on July 21st, 2009 for $19.99. Only two seasons were made, done.

    As said in the last PT, this was an adaptation of the long running NPR, radio program (and podcast) on terrestrial radio. This show was made for Showtime. The season comprised of six, half hour long episodes.

    Like the last DVD, there are no extras.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    The season one entry spoke of a short lived Fox series, "The Wilton North Report" from 1987.

    Very much like "This American Life", but I am wrong.

    There was another, much earlier variant - not much of a difference with TWNR. I'm speaking of the NBC show, "Real People".



    "Real People" ran from 1979 - 1984. Five seasons on the air and could've gone five more. It was rather cheap to produce. The show could very well be one - if not, the first reality television program.

    Starting from the chair, clockwise; Byron Allen, John Barbour, Bill Rafferty, Sarah Purcell and Skip Stephenson. Not pictured is Fred Willard. Even as a child I was puzzled by Stephenson's hair. Why does an adult have a little kid's hair cut? That promo pix does not do it justice - it became his signature image. Why?

    A secret. Purcell was my crush back in the day. She's so pretty.

    The program? Odd people who did odd things. One of the stories burned to my memory was about the guy who wanted to live in a boat. Said screw it - built his own house boat for him and family. Just one thing. He's too inland for it to ever sit on any body of water, it sits on struts, dry.

    It was funny because of his sincerity. He was so proud of this work, he made a boat. But, yeah.

    The series showed their journalism and clips before a studio audience. So you got a laugh track, TV was different back then.

    Popular segement involved viewers who sent in photos of bizarre happenings. This had to have happened in 1981. A photo from a drive-in marquee, a triple feature bill...

    "Alien" (1979)

    "Meatballs" (1979)

    "Escape From New York" ('81)

    I added the release year - now say the titles as a sentence. Damn, forty years later, still makes me smile. If meatballs can rain - why can't alien ones, flee the Big Apple?

    Some of the segments can be found on YouTube, but only a handful. Kinda wonder if eventually Time/Life will release a remastered box set, the complete series on DVD. But one thing is certain, that box will be overpriced.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    Did one earlier this month. But have need for more *cough* 'caliber' filler. Welcome to Volume Seven of "Dead TV Shows Not On Home Video". You get two titles with a theme!



    "Adderly" - The dead show aired in America (made and broadcast for Canadians) on CBS in 1986. This was the network's answer to the long running juggernaut that was "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" on NBC; 11:30 pm. "Late Night With David Letterman" aired after this spy show.

    The series was adapted from the novel "Pocock & Pitt" (1971) by Elliott Baker who was also the show runner. It lasted two seasons, all forty-four episodes aired, an hour long program.

    Ex-spy, V.H. Adderly (Winston Rekert; V.H. is for Virgil Homer - his parents were fans of classical poets) was given a massive blow on assignment. He got captured and they mashed his left hand with a meat tenderizer. The higher ups felt he can't be an agent with one hand. And they took his dominant hand. Had to learn to be right handed.

    After recovery, Adderly learns he's been transferred to a new bureau within the agency; low level assignments - that don't require active attentions... filler. He is horrified by his fate at 'Department Of Miscellaneous Affairs'. And discovering he is the only agent for DMS, that trivial. Even worse, his new boss, Melville Greenspan (Jonathan Welsh) relishes in the banality of the job. Pretty much his only relief is Greenspan's secretary, Mona Ellerby (Dixie Seatle) - who wants more than this position too, ready to inject herself into trouble.

    Much to his boss' chagrin, Adderly manages to do his former job, being a spy, successfully. He's trying to prove that he can be an asset just like before. His boss' boss, Major Jonathan B. Clack (Ken Pogue) is intrigued, but doesn't move him up - no matter how much Adderly tries.

    A spy show, but Adderly had no gadgets. There was no budget for them at Miscellaneous Affairs. He is left to his ingenuity to solve and get himself out of troubles. This was a hybrid; action adventure, dramedy, spy series. It wasn't shown if he completely lost his hand - with a static prosthetic or if his hand is lame, it didn't moved. He wore a leather glove on his left hand.

    Season two finale, series finale; Adderly learns this was always the goal. Gen. Clack knew he needed someone outside of the system to get things done, not muddled in bureaucracy. So he created the department JUST FOR Adderly. It was so cheap compared to other departments - would fly under the radar. And knew that Adderly wanted to prove himself; so he would work any simple assignment, seek troubles, fishing out wrongs. Greenspan got his tasks directly from Clack; he didn't make the connection until told.

    This was a huge game changer - had this gone to season three, V.H. Adderly would've gotten high leveled missions disguised as do-nothing jobs. Getting what he wanted in a roundabout way. The show had a long running subplot; he was seeking the man who did this to him, took his hand. Not some super villain, but a high leveled hired thug.

    It was charming, funny and cool - lost to time.

    - - -



    "Spies" was another CBS series which didn't last long, not even a full season. There were seven episodes made, one of which was the unaired pilot. The rest were broadcast. It was a failed mid-season replacement in 1987.

    This told the story of Ian Stone (George Hamilton) a one time, top spy who is getting up in years, yet behaving like nothing has changed. As in spending and breaking property like James Bond without a care. He does get his tasks completed each time. The agency is sick of him. Spends too much and doesn't care about the consequences. Kinda like Sterling Archer, but more muted. And yeah, Stone IS a social drinker too.

    The agency's chairman, Thomas Brady (Barry Corbin) is getting ready to fire him. This happens as reports were being delivered by company accountant, Ben Smythe (Gary Kroeger) who is a great fan of Stone. The young agent attempts to make a case for Stone, still valuable. Tired and doesn't want to hurt his friend; assigns Smythe to Stone - be his voice of reason and accountant; ordering him to move in with his idol.

    'Keep this guy's frivolity in check or both of you, lose your jobs.'

    He is a low level spy, not the training nor experience for these kind of cloak and dagger scenarios. As expected Ian is ticked off having a partner, gonna stifle his style.

    This or get fired, reluctantly agrees. Ben proves his worth and together they get into all sorts of global troubles. All the while keeping tabs on Stone's spending. This is like the above, a mash-up. It was a fun series too.

    The unaired pilot had Tony Curtis as Stone. Don't know how I feel about that. Hamilton is debonair. Curtis is right to the point, kinda harsh. Sure it could've worked, but it works better with Hamilton. *nods*

    - - -

    "This American Life" season two was bought off eBay.

    It was acquired on December 31st, 2020 for $10.76 total with free shipping. Arrived on January 4th, 2021, mint. I didn't open it until I did a scan of the cover. 'Cause I care for you guys. Sway! I liked it. Same as season one, more of the same and that's not a bad thing.

    Okay, not one of my better Past Tenses, but it is functional, mostly. And that's fine! Come back here on May 13th, 2021 for something I'm just as clueless as you. We'll both be surprised... hopefully in a good way. *weak grin*
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 05-13-2021 at 04:54 AM.

  3. #768
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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry! This outing we get one step below snuff clips in "The Road Movie"...



    I have very few stats, this had a limited theatrical run - nineteen theaters. The motion picture opened on January 19th, 2018. Before that had screenings at various film festivals in America and Europe. No idea on its budget; had to be relatively cheap. Can tell you it didn't even register on the box office top forty. It made, during it's U.S. domestic run $13,757.00. Sorry, I have no foreign box office numbers.

    The feature opened against "Darkest Hour", "The Shape Of Water", "Star Wars: Episode III - The Last Jedi" and "Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle".

    This is listed as a digipak, sort of - I guess. It came in a textured slipcase with a card stock, non-snapper (you know those) inside (look at the pix below). It has a paper pocket to hold the disc. I just know this will get scratched over the next few years, not a fan of this design. Should've come in a thin case.

    There was no insert, but it did - the package, came with a coupon for a website discount. I'll be honest, I did find a few more titles I'd like to get. I'll probably use it, probably buy one next month. A future write up? Yeah.

    - - -

    This came about (for me) when I was cleaning my external hard drive. Getting rid of stuff I no longer wanted. Freeing up a few gigs. I was in the "Trailers" folder and rewatched the trailer for it. Hmmmm? Did this come out on DVD? Did some looking and couldn't find info. Didn't give up easy. Did more digging and found the website which sold it - the official site, Oscilloscope Pictures.

    More searching got me some more info which is why this is a Past Tense.

    Buying from their website gets you a pressed disc. If you buy elsewhere it's either streaming or a DVD-R. Like another title which I'll cover later this month. And yeah, that makes this an exclusive.

    The thing is still available, bought it.



    The DVD sold for $27.99 (above image) and BD for $32.99 - free shipping, but must pay domestic (U.S.) taxes. My DVD was had for $33.99. The Blu-Ray came with a BD sized slipcover since it comes in an appropriate case.

    Ordered on May 3rd and arrived on May 7th, '21. Good packaging, arrived in a cardboard box. This is a limited edition release, no idea on how many were made for each format.

    Other than seeing that trailer - this was a blind buy. I had ZERO buyers remorse. Watched on the same day it arrived. It 100% met my expectations, sway; man, like watching a train wreck. Can't take your eyes off it. The original title in Russia was "Doroga" which means "Road" in English.

    And for some reason this is touted as a documentary, it's not.

    The collection is presented in anamorphic widescreen with English subtitles; most of the time, not necessary - easy to see what's happening.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    As said above, "one step below snuff clips" - nobody is killed here. Injured sure, physically and emotionally. Before you ask; there is no supernatural footage - ghosts, cryptoids, things that don't fit - which is a shame, those footage exist. Perhaps if there's a sequel.



    Holy crap this is some seriously insane sh!t. Yeah I should, take a step back.

    This is a compilation of various dash cam footage from Russia. Why? In the Russian system, you must have proof or their insurance companies won't pay for damages; resulting in many of their cars having cameras recording all the time - to save their a$$es.

    Now I have three gripes about the release.

    1) It's barely a movie - the thing is 70 minutes long and a good chunk of it is opening and end credits to fatten it

    2) There is an Oscilloscope promo trailer; showcasing clips from their releases... that are not identified. What's that? Or that? What's this? Way to go to blow your advertising. Sure titles are flashed on screen, but what clip goes to that? Damn good question.

    3) The 'movie' is so short and light on extras; there should've been pages/screens for full trailers. Instead we get two; "12 O'Clock Boys" and "Bellflower", that's is - with a comment: "See More Trailers At Oscilloscope.net". Why not put a lot more on the disc? There's a lot of extra room. A LOT! Use the opportunity to promote yourself. I don't get it.



    Above are some of the insanity that producer, compiler (not director) Dmitrii Kalashnikov collected.

    You have a random tank show up at a service station - for a power wash. Man, that's gotta be so Russian. None of the service men blink. It's another Thursday.

    Stunning footage of a car driving through a forest blaze - it goes on and on, Hell on Earth. A couple are in that car, barely seeing anything more than fire and smoke - then later see that there is another car ahead of them (shown above).

    The last image is why - why you should NEVER smoke while pumping gas.

    There is footage of road rage; the offending driver came at the other car with an ax! And his girlfriend looks unaffected by it. That's so Russian too. He goes back in his car, drops his tool and gets a gun - shoots at the other car. Again his girlfriend is unaffected. WTF? A truck turns over in the rain, resulting in four transformers exploding. Damn surreal, like there was a Highlander moment happening.

    But of all the clips one of them has me wanting more. What's the back story here?



    A driver sees a young woman in what appears to be a yellow sun dress, walking down the street; it's 9:09pm. He stops and she pops up on his hood, quite despondent - holding back tears. He gets out, asking her 'what's wrong?' A moment later an older woman approaches them.

    The girl gets up, walks over the hood onto the roof and off the back. You can now see, she is bare foot. ??? The woman tells her... "We have a wedding there". She is dressed up.

    Okay. What's going on?

    Is she upset that her guy is getting married to another woman?

    Her gal pal is marrying another woman??

    Her dad is marrying a younger woman, feeling frustrated???

    Why does she not have shoes on? Was she dipping her feet in a pool then fled, shoeless?

    I got questions. *nods*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.

    Since this is a short entry, I thought I would go with some 1970s nostalgia.



    What you see above are two menus from that decade - from McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken (take out). Look at those prices! Wow. Man, inflation sucks.

    And there you go. You need to see this thing. It's hard to describe, the why. When you see, you'll understand. And yeah, there is some light nudity and cursing.

    Come back here on May 27th, 2021 for another brand new entry - just as crazy as this title. A movie that should be more well known, don't even think it has reach cult level yet. A hidden gem. See you then.

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    Past Tense - The Invasion Starts On Your VCR Part I


    Another brand new entry! And a somewhat rare, but still available title. This outing we get alien invasion wrapped in hyper 1980s pop culture in "Remote Control"...



    Why not the poster, above? The cover art and poster are the same; instead of having a lot of repeats - here's the original VHS covers instead.

    The motion picture opened on April 7th, 1988. It was made with a budget of $3,000.000 (estimated). It fizzed out and didn't even hit the top forty on the box office when it opened. So I have no more stats.

    The feature opened against "Biloxi Blues", "Good Morning Vietnam", "3 Men And A Baby", "Beetle Juice" and "Moonstruck".

    No slipcover was issued for either versions; DVD or Blu-Ray. The cover (on the wraparound) was autographed by director Jeff Lieberman - "[your first name]! Control Yourself! Best - Jeff Lieberman".

    Had to break this into two since - I wrote too much. It's what I do.

    - - -

    Yes, I had a different PT in mind, but this arrived and I'm super excited, how lucky I am. Anyhow, say thank you, this title required a lot of research - was hair pullers



    "Remote Control: 25th Anniversary Edition" has been remastered in 2K. Both formats (region 0) are exclusives from the filmmaker's own website "JeffLiebermanDirector" (you know how to do it). Still active as I post this. Both were streeted on March 22nd, 2013... on the surface. I'll get into that in a moment.

    Tax free and free shipping - domestically. The DVD is $19.95. The BD is $25.95. Same extras on both. There is international shipping available.

    When this first came out - were limited editions, only 1,000 copies made (each format) which were MODs, Manufacture On Demand discs; DVD-R and BD-R releases. Over the years those burned discs have been fetching insane prices.

    Amazon is selling the BD-R in their marketplace for $79.99 plus shipping. That's a steal. On eBay that was going for - wait for it... $499.99 (free shipping). WTF? Also on eBay the DVD was going for $199.99, free shipping too. Can you see why I'm happy?

    I had learned about this sometime in 2014 on the former cinema information site, IMDb - their film message board. Was not happy about it be a DVD-R. So I didn't bother buying. Flash forward to late April (2021) and it popped to head. I want this now, is it still available?

    You read my search results. That was way over my wallet. But wanted at least, some closure and kept looking. A bit later I ended up on the director's website. On his store page I saw it; this had been years old. Can it be still valid? Took a chance.

    Yes it is - ordered (PayPal) on May 3rd, '21, shipped from New York - arrived on the 14th.

    Opened the package and my jaw dropped. Sometimes it pays to wait. The back cover has no number written on it; "# [blank] of 1000". This isn't a DVD-R, it's a pressed disc! There must have been a second pressing for it, so Lieberman opted to get them made, not burned.

    What I can surmise, this run is less than a thousand copies. I would imagine - because it is a real DVD; it has got to be among the rarest titles in my collection. So glad I have it, damn fortunate that I waited. Real deal. Sway! The site reads, "All Sales Are Final!" I'm happy.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    The DVD came in a cheap case, but the disc is mint. No problem, I can move to a better case. That's when I discovered that it's double sided. Okay, no worries - I can move it into a transparent case, which is where it is now. The inside of the wraparound is the various credits, the folks who made the remastering happen (from vault elements); a lot of people. Good for them.

    Okay, I had to mod the wraparound. It was too wide to fit the case. So I used a flat edge sheet of plastic, I was saving for some unknown use. The sides are all 90 degrees. And got out my exacto knife; probably got it some time in the 1990s, still razor sharp. I put the sheet over the wraparound with a tiny sliver exposed, took my time to make it right. Then sliced off, so that the spine text is centered.

    Turned out great, fits right in.



    The movie is presented in anamorphic widescreen in 2.0 stereo. The disc comes with commentary by the director and a slide show gallery of thirty-two images. I wanna talk about this - new to me. I've never ran into this before - the static menu screen.

    When the disc starts for the first time it's a motion menu; above left. Then when you pick something - go back to main menu... you get a static image with options. How do you get back to motion? Took me awhile to figure it out. You need to hit "title" to get back to the 'summit' menu. That is bizarre.

    So - who are they, the image above? That's the hero couple - the movie within the movie. Listed on the credits as "Heroine" - Lisa Aliff and "Young Hero" - Ty Kelley.

    Incidentally, Aliff did a lot of episodic television in the 1980s and early '90s, she even did an episode of "Freddy's Nightmares" in 1989 ("Photo Finish" aired October 29th, '89; one of the episodes where Freddy appeared in; Aliff had a bit role as a tormented model). The two season, syndicated TV series spin-off from "Nightmare On Elm Street" movie franchise.

    And yes, Robert Englund did reprise is iconic role of Freddy Krueger. Nope. Not on DVD or any home video, like it never existed. The show was a horror anthology with Freddy as the host, though he did appear in a couple of episodes, like mini-sequels; like Vegas, the house always wins. By the way, a cardboard cutout of Freddy appears in the movie at the second video store.

    Sadly there is no trailer included on the anniversary release, should've been there. The film is rated R and is eighty-eight minutes long.



    The back of the wraparound, the cover art wasn't modded for DVD. It reads - "Remote Control in fully remastered Blu-Ray!". Okay. The "25th Anniversary Edition" notice is only on the front cover, not the rear or spine. Or even in the printed artwork on the disc.

    I know most of you have no clue what this is.

    It wasn't even a sleeper hit; it came and went at the theaters as fast. I still remember a TV commercial for it. So I ended up seeing it on home video - where most discovered the VHS... at their local video rental shop. A film made for that time period - for that very business. It was quite meta.

    By the way, Amazon is selling that old VHS for $44.98, used. This came out on VHS in 1989 from IVE, International Video Entertainment, Inc.

    There was a re-release on cassette on April 1st, 1991 by Avid Home Entertainment, but most hate it. The company put it out in EP speed (six hours on one tape), as a shortened VHS. The tape standard was SP, two hours per cassette which had the better resolution and sound quality.

    Now I can't say if Avid was regional, say Canada. Because also in 1991 it was re-release by Live Home Video in SP.



    Now there are two moments, less than a second - each; what looks like oil or a grease blot on the print. Less than a minute from each other in the same scene. I'm not making a fuss over it.

    I'm only pointing them out. It's odd that they were not digitally removed.

    What is this about?

    Cosmo (Kevin Dillon) works for his friend Georgie (Christopher Wynne) at "Village Video" which is a video rental shop inside a refurbished movie theater - "Warner Grand"; multi-leveled. Which is pretty cool, no - damn cool!

    Where I'm at; this happened in the early 1990s, an old theater was turned into a video rental store along with home theater equipment (sound systems too) - back when these were not flat screens, but large projection TVs.

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    Past Tense - The Invasion Starts On Your VCR Part II


    Good memories from them - buying and renting laser discs. This is where I bought the out of print DVD, "The Deep" (1977), Columbia TriStar Home Video - complete with insert. The first pressing from 1998 was a flipper; widescreen and full. When it was re-released; full screen only and pretty much the only way to find the movie on DVD today.



    That was the place where I would get my free copy of "Laser Disc Image Preview", small sized, monthly, then a bi-monthly magazine that was less about articles as it was about coming titles, the ads. Good memories. Above is a page from the mag; the ad for the deluxe special editon LD box set for "The Day The Earth Stood Still" (1951). Yes it sold for $149.98 in 1995. And yes, I did buy it - still have.

    And I still have my copy of "The Deep" DVD, a solid flick and quite the showcase for an in-her-prime, Jacqueline Bissett in wet tees and skin tight swimsuits. *nods* She was one of those rare women; pretty when she was in her twenties; hot when she was in her thirties, suppose she was a late bloomer. Man, would've have loved to have seen her as 1970s Catwoman if there was "Batman" '70s flick, non-campy big budget feature.

    I'm telling you, Jack Palance as Batman would've been wicked. Oh frackin' yes - Don Rickles as The Joker.



    Sorry - while helping one of his regulars, Allegra (Jennifer Tilly, above), Cosmo meets a woman of interest - Belinda Watson (Deborah Goodrich), she's looking for a romantic French movie. He can't find it. She leaves. But leaves with her boyfriend, Victor (Frank Beddor), he's not a nice guy.

    He has set his sights on a video, a new title - "Remote Control". The VHS that Allegra had just snagged. There is a tense moment, but she wins. Not taking 'no' for answer; as she checks it out, he looks at the computer monitor and sees her home address.



    These two random people set off a string of events that take Cosmo, Belinda and Georgie into a home video conspiracy.

    Oh my God! What is that cop doing to that boy's as$!?!

    Man, things were different back then. I have that, the feature - "Jake Speed" (1986), saw it opening day and later owned the laser disc ('86) and currently the DVD (2001). Recommended.

    Aliens from the Polaris star system have set their eyes on Earth, but do not have the number to take the planet over. So they've opted to use our tech against ourselves - VHS cassettes. Reality altering videos which insert subliminal, ultra violent messages. Get all those who see it to murder each other. This is how they plan on reducing our numbers.

    They named their company "Polaris Video" with star above a planet as their logo. *wink* That was a nice touch.

    How are they going about it? The aliens made a black and white 1950s inspired sci-fi movie about the very thing they're doing - invasion using home video. Yeah the movie within a movie has their version of a VHS tape, making people who watch it go homicidal. Today that would be meta.

    Taking a step back, I am impressed by the video shop. I can only guess they didn't bother getting rights to the tapes. Because those clearances would've made the movie impossible to include. I saw box covers for Disney, New World Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal and 20th Century Fox.

    That would not have happened - the store would have one or two studio worth of titles; shot in such away to show only those studio releases. Nope, not here. For Gen-Xers, this is a movie to pause and look about. One of the titles was the box set for "Gone With The Wind" (1939).



    The film had an excellent villain in Victor; the guy looks like he's ready to come unhinged. He had an important role as the main baddie. Even having a moment where we feel sorry for him. Maybe he's not a jerk, but a victim. Nah, he's still an a-hole.

    The film has good amount of gore; such as the killing spree inside a night club where that tape was playing on their big screen.

    The why? Why a 1950s movie? This was the aliens first impression of us - our TV broadcasts which took decades to reach their eyes. They learned about us from our entertainments. Creating a science fiction feature seemed like a good way to get our attentions.

    At that point, VHS was king - dominate format on the planet; marry the two for their scheme.



    Looking at this movie today; oh man, this has got to be one of the most 1980s - '80s movies made. Wow. The fashion, the music and hues. Shook my head a few times. Yeah, those were a thing back in the day. Made me smile. Just so you know, that pix above; the background...

    "Fuji" video tapes (blank cassettes) were among the top tier fuel for your VCR. They were long lasting tapes and came in a plastic slipcase, not cheap card stock. Fancy! And no, growing up I didn't have many of them to use, expensive. When I did, it was for special saves; something I wanted kept - Fuji!

    In the background - the poster is for Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (1959). This was a long watch - while it's less than ninety minutes, I paused a lot while at "Village Video". Stuff like that brought up a lot of memories. There was a mom and pops store where I'm at - they had two rooms of space; EVER wall and isle was packed. You could get lost among the titles. Man, I loved that place. After the time had ended, it became a family owned Mexican restaurant and now, it's a vacant spot. The kids today have no idea what they missed out on.



    Oh man, this could be racist. All the aliens in human guise (we don't see their native form) are disguised as Asians, the foreigner. The Master Controller (Tad Horino) behind the invasion shown above. While the black and white movie made by the aliens is the means inflict homicidal urges on humans; they still need a film. The plot mirrors the events in the feature. Here at the climax, our Young Hero steals a forklift at the replication plant and drives it into (jumping off at the last moment) into a power station, setting the place ablaze; destroying the aliens plot for domination. Why not end with the aliens winning?

    It is a human motion picture - need to adhere to the tropes.

    The movie is also titled "Remote Control" as from the VHS info - was mock made in 1957. A bit of additional trivia. Jennifer Tilly's role was small, but she was given second billing, not Goodrich. I guess they had to show their big stars for advertising.

    There is a problem I have. The finale has a scene which made sense; was shown and the characters were examining, then is forgotten since a lot was happening. That should've been a stinger after the end credits. Credits ends and we come back to the smoking rubble of their factory/headquarters - one of the aliens survived with a found prize... villainy is victorious.

    That would've had more weight to it, a reward to viewers who stayed.



    Madness is the gift that has been given to me.
    - Disturbed

    That's it. I'm happy to own this. Made me smile a lot and has a solid plot. This year, 1988; Kevin Dillon would star in another sci-fi movie, gone to classic; the outstanding remake of "The Blob". The visual effects are thirty-three years old and feel just as fresh and so unforgiving.

    Come back here on June 10th, 2021 for the entry that was suppose to happen here. *nods* You'll like it. I know I did. An indie flick with big concepts, made cheap that fits.

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    Best Buy - June 8th, 2021


    Indiana Jones: 4-Movie Collection
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/DC combo $99.99

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    Past Tense - Crafting Your Own Doom Part I


    Another brand new entry! An inventive indie flick that went cheap, but left us with so many questions (the good kind) in "Dave Made A Maze"...



    It's a short entry, but I had to break it into two parts because I wrote too much, over the limit. I did expand a bit to make it more beefy.

    The motion picture had a limited theatrical release on August 18th, 2017. It's budget is unknown; I can't find the stats. Domestically once done it made $34,117, 07. So yeah, I think it bombed. It didn't even register at the box office.

    The feature opened against "Dunkirk", "The Dark Tower" and "The Emoji Movie".

    The DVD (pressed) came in a slim case digipak and with a tiny origami bird (which was one of the characters). I still have mine. It also came with a mini-poster, autographed by the director (generic) - "Have Fun In There! - Bill W."; postcard sized. Other side advertises the movie having a theatrical run and available 'on demand' on August 18th, 2017; that didn't happen as planned.

    - - -

    This is where things get murky. I don't have the exact day, precisely. What I have the the date this came on home video at Amazon, but that was released as an M.O.D. (Manufacture On Demand; official burned disc). This happened on October 24th, 2017 for both DVD and Blu-Ray; same price - but lost that amount. Sorry.



    In 2017; could be the same date? The film's website sold the pressed disc, digipak - limited edition; same extras.

    This was $19.99 for the DVD and $24.99 for the BD. Cheaper on the pre-order; $15.00 and $18.00. The film's website also sold tees (60/40 cotton/polyester blend). And something else...



    You could buy a working, cardboard pinball game from Cardboard Teck Instantute. This was a mega set; your choice - DVD or Blu-Ray, plus a tee shirt and the "PinBox3000" contraption for $74.99. Those shirts were priced at $17.99 each.

    I almost bought it from Amazon, but read a comment and searched the site. I only bought the DVD, I'd like to believe that pinball thing could work.

    Oh yeah, bought my copy from them online (PayPal) on March 28th, 2018 for a total of 21.48 with tax, free shipping. It arrived about a week later.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    This thing bombed and disappeared; this has cult film written all over, but fell into obscurity. It deserve much better...

    Dave (Nick Thune) is an artist who hasn't made anything of significant; he's coming up to thirty and is having a quarter-life crisis. His girlfriend, Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) is tired of him not trying hard enough, not finishing what he started - not following through. So many of his works are unrealized. She's on the verge of kicking him out of the apartment.

    Annie works for an independent film documentarian. After hours at work she comes back, frustrated and finds the place in a mess. Dave has made a cardboard, structure in the living room; bits of paper and colored paper mache all over the place, tape too. She's about to explode, Dave tell her not to come inside.

    Dave is inside the small building, fort, thingamabob construction; she opens the door and crawls inside to let him have it... and crawls and crawls and crawls and crawls until she stands up - in a cardboard environment. Dave screams at her to get out, the place is a shifting labyrinth; Annie will get trapped in there with him. She flees, barely making it out.

    So what happened???

    Somehow, someway, he made a pocket universe - Dave started with a small art project and grew and grew and it took a life of it's own; started in the center, buliding outward - the place is like Dr. Who's TARDIS. He's trapped and lost.



    It gets worse - lurking inside there is a cardboard Minotaur (John Hennigan) who wants Dave, the intruder dead.

    Annie needs help and calls the smartest person she know - her boss (James Urbaniak), Harry - he comes over and thinks she's BSing him. Nope. This is real. She is putting together a rescue mission to find Dave. He tells her to stop for a moment - once in a life time situation, Harry gathers a skeleton crew to film the events inside this other realm.

    Things get complicated...



    A few of their friends shows up. Not taking serious what was told, but humors them since it's out of the ordinary. She gears up and the lot enters the cardboard fabrication.

    Let me say, I'm not doing it justice. The pocket universe is so imaginative. Unlike anything you've seen. So much of it - is bizarre. Sets were made from American Apparel scraps, from their Los Angeles factory. Originally the producers thought they had more than enough cardboard. Nope.

    Three weeks into shooting they ran out. And making matters worse - no more. AA would not give them any more scraps. What save them was Solar City, next door. They didn't care if the crew wanted to dumpster dive for used cardboard, have it.



    Filmmakers had two basic room sizes for sets. Which means each set built had to be torn down for the next scene... no reshoots, can't go back, gone. Another problem, sets were taped together as seen on screen. The life span those sets were roughly four hours, before coming apart.

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    Past Tense - Crafting Your Own Doom Part II


    Harsh camera lights and a filming production put a lot of stress on the made rooms.

    In the end, much of the cardboard used were returned to those dumpsters for recycling. And production did not pay for any cardboard used. They used their money on effects - forced perspective visuals to make the place bigger than it was. Plus stop-motion animation and paper puppetry.



    The rescue numbers dwindle for the rescue. The laws of physics is different, bordering on the supernatural. Death is complex (craft related). The tee shown above was one of the shirts sold. The movie then takes a metaphysical detour once our gang finds Dave.

    He and Annie witness their lives together if they choose to remain. It's hard to put into words. It makes a hard 180, not a bad thing. And was sweet, they do love each other.

    The remaining gang with Dave keep trying to stay one step ahead of the Minotaur. There are traps and temptations (non-explict vag room, 'it's so pretty'). At one point they find 'origami land' and see this bird flying about. It sort of follows them on their journey. I wish this critter was more in the flick. Even when they get out - keeping it, alive and treating the thing like a real bird - would've been cool.



    I like that it took time from their eighty minutes long run time to spend it on Annie and Dave; they're the thing which hold the story together. Her love for him and vise versa.

    There is no exit, it's endless. But that's when it pops to mind - why is part of this place incomplete?

    He's a prisoner of his fault, not following through. Dave has to finish the building from the inside to break out - back to our reality. And lucky for him, Annie was supplied. As said the movie is short, they couldn't make it longer - sets wouldn't allow them and limited resources. Man, I wanted this to be longer - so... different, imaginative, a handmade fantasy world.

    By the way, Adam Busch who plays Gordon; Dave's best friend. Man, he is giving off such an Andy Dick vibe - which is cool here. Gordon has some of the best liness. Frank Caeti plays the boom operator, no name - but has the some of the best screen time, his reactions.

    The criticism. There are people who didn't care for it, two reasons. 1) They didn't care for the characters. I can see that, a few of the explorers are obnoxious Red Shirts - but those are the first to die, showcasing the horrors of this place. 2) They did not like the ending. The feature rushes during those last few minutes and yeah, the finale feels forced. This was the best they could do; running out of money and time. I'm okay with that.

    The film was a ride and to won me over. So sway - like it was inspired by Terry Gilliam movies. So many WTFs. I'm glad I made this blind buy (from Gravitas Ventures). Glad I took the time to research and found the real deal, pressed copy, worth it.

    I am bugged by one moment; when Annie gets ready to go in (with the gang). She is seen prepping a backpack. We see her with a bottle of water and a box cutter, that's pretty much it. What's in the backpack? We don't know. There should've been a suit up/gearing up montage, yes it's a trope, but a well established one. Made famous by directors as John Carpenter and Sam Raimi. She's the only one who prepared - we should know what's she carrying into the alien world.



    Above is co-writer/director Bill Watterson outside of Dave's creation. The DVD and BD have the same extras. A twenty minute making-of featurette, commentary by Watterson, deleted scenes, their crowd sourced video pitch and trailers. And in 5.1 surround sound. A decent pile of bonuses. The film was co-written by Steven Sears.

    Those discs are region free with subtitle in English and Spanish.

    There you go folks, I had limited materials to work with and a personal matter - which ate a lot of my time. Luckily I did the image work, weeks in advance. I had home repairs, that needed to get done before the temperature hits over 100 degrees. Summer is here.



    This final bit; above are two additional posters. The left was the early poster - seeking crowd sourcing funds. The right image is the Korean poster which is better than the U.S. advertising pix. Okay done. You need to see this, you could have issues with the movie, but it will be an imaginative ride.

    See you back here on June 24th, 2012 for something, still thinking on - could pick a different exclusive, not set. We'll both be surprised. *nods*

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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry! Movies with gimmicks is nothing new, some are cheap stunts - others involve the audience seeking clues; we get this kind of guess who in "The List Of Adrian Messenger"...



    First off, this is a short entry; only so much I can find, limited stats, but to be expected I did find some stuff.

    The motion picture opened on May 29th, 1963. Can tell you, the North American box office numbers were $1,700,00.00. No clue on its budget nor rankings. What else can I tell you?

    The feature opened against "Dr. No", "Atom Age Vampire", "Tammy And The Doctor", "The Critic" and "In The Cool Of The Day".

    The DVD (pressed) came in a standard case without any insert or issued slipcase.

    - - -

    I came in to write about this being a Wal-Mart exclusive... ended up discovering it was also, years earlier an Amazon exclusive too. Didn't see that coming. So there you go.



    On November 20th, 2009 the internet giant released the film as an MOD, Manufacture On Demand, DVD-R. From the best I can gather, this sold for $9.98. I can't find out more, but I can extrapolate based on another Amazon exclusive MOD, "Powderkeg" - released in 2013.

    Which was also the same, zero extras, movie only. So unless i find some blog archive or such, I'm gonna say $9.98. There is another bit which collaborates the price.

    Well... there was one extra - if that counts, it had English subtitles.



    On July 4th, 2017 Wal-Mart released it as an unadvertised, limited time, pressed exclusive. It sold for $7.96. The nationwide release happened on September 5th, 2017 for $9.99.

    A penny difference between the pressed nationwide released and the Amazon exclusive. *nods*

    This wasn't part of any end-cap sale. It was just in the regular shelves at Wal-Mart.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Before you ask - it was a blind purchase. Hadn't heard of this movie until that afternoon.

    Gonna guess you probably hadn't heard of it too. This movie is kinda, loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Philip MacDonald.

    What is it about?

    The core of this flick is guess who - as you can see on the poster, five famous actors at the time were in disguises. This was the assassin in hiding. The gimmick was trying to find out which actor was playing the killer (not gonna give it away) - at a particular hit. These include Frank Sinatra, Kirk Douglas, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum and Tony Curtis.

    The black and white movie was a thriller, not a parody. Sway.

    The story is set around Anthony Gethryn (George C. Scott), a retired MI-5 officer who was asked to come to the estate of "Marquis of Gleneyre" currently owned by long time friend and mystery author, Adrian Messenger (John Merivale).

    He wants a favor from Gethryn; take a look at a compiled list he's created - the names of ten people who knew each other during World War II - all were caught and prisoners in a camp in Burma. A good chunk of them are dead; passed under mysterious circumstances.

    Each as a separate fatality - is nothing but an odd accident. But once you examine them as a whole, these men knew each other. It's too random to be a coincidence. As a mystery writer, Messenger is very concerned about the possibility of serious foul play.



    Seeing how anxious he was - Gethryn agrees. It was just to placate his friend, but it becomes dead serious when Messenger dies. As it turns out that list should've been eleven - Adrian knew all those men too, which was why he was so agitated.

    Nearly getting killed in one of the hits - collateral damage, Raoul Le Borg (Jacques Roux) is also retired, he was part of the French Resistance during the war and was Gethryn's counterpart in intelligence. He wants to know what's going on and join in the manhunt, walking with a cane. Two become three with Lady Jocelyn Bruttenholm (Dana Wynter) who is Messenger's cousin and at one point, Gethryn's girlfriend.



    Together the trio discover that Adrian's final work, his unpublished manuscript has clues to the killer's identity. The man was a good writer. Things become complicated as the book has been altered - names have been stripped and even replaced.

    The killer is hiding his tracks.

    And is keeping one step ahead of our trio. They keep failing, people are dying.



    This leaves one final name, one last person who remains - they now know the murder is a master of disguise. He can be anyone. They also discover the 'why?' - if discovered, he would be guilty of wartime treachery and would be found guilty in court, sending him to prison for the rest of his life.

    He's doing his best to secretly murder all those who could identify him. But Messenger was on the road to uncovering the truth. And now another - so ticked off, the assassin had marked Gethryn as his final kill. And I'll stop here. The ending was swift justice.

    So? Why so long after the war? This is something lost today, but was prominent when it came out.

    The book was released in '59 which at the time, 1950s - there were World War II, criminal trials still going on. The killer was content to fade in the background, but because of ongoing, very public trials - had to be sure he wouldn't get exposed and sent to prison. That's why there was a delay.

    This is like the brown bags in "The Big Sleep" (1946); there's a part of the movie where our hero is focused on a photo studio across the street from a used book store. All these folks coming out with prints and such in brown bags. You see, brown bags were used to hide porn. The photo studio was developing pornographic rolls of film and also sold erotic pictures. Which was known at the time, but that plot point is lost today.

    The porn angle now makes the blackmail subplot intelligible. The younger sibling had this over her - dirty pictures... from a hidden camera in a statue.

    Anyhow, I didn't know where this was going and that's something I enjoy; not mindless tropes - a genuine mystery. It's a solid feature and part of my collection.

    The only star who wasn't given proper screen time was Lancaster who appears in close-ups, not really in disguise in the movie. The film was directed by John Huston who had a bit part towards the end as Lord Ashton, a fox hunt, rider.

    By the way, while doing some more research this was also re-released on DVD in 2016; part of "Kirk Douglas: The Centennial Collection" box set. I might add the plot to this movie was given homage for the later comic book adaptation, "RED" (2010).

    There you go - not one of my bigger entries, but is serviceable. Okay. I'm satisfied. Come back here on July 15th, 2021 for the next entry. Nope, don't know what that is - yet. I'll think of something. *wink*

    Have a safe and pleasant 4th of July. Don't drink and drive or text while driving. Be safe. See you then.

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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry! We dive into controversy, Dan Brown style with the documentary - "Secrets Of The Code"...



    I can't find squat on this doc. It wasn't released theatrically in America. Have no stats for a budget. Can only guess this was a direct to video release - which means this came out on June 5th, 2007.

    Can tell you it streeted against "Highlander: The Search For Vengeance", "Hogan's Heroes: The Sixth & Final Season" and "Meatballs: Special Edition".

    No slipcover was issued, nor insert. This retailed for $24.96.

    - - -

    This is an odd exclusive. But was one.

    It got released as an exclusive freebie from Best Buy on May 12th, 2009.



    You got this documentary for free if you bought one from select titles on sale that week - and it also came with theater voucher to see "Angels & Demons" for free. It expired on June 30th, 2009. It was sealed on the back of the case with art that mirrored the real back. As you can see above, right.

    The titles?

    "21", "Across The Universe", "Casino Royale" (2006), "The Covenant", "Hellboy", "House Of The Flying Daggers", "The Other Boleyn Girl", "Premonition", "The Pursuit Of Happiness", "Spider-Man 3", "Vantage Point", "Big Fish", "Spider-Man", "Spider-Man 2", "First Knight", "The Forgotten", "Gridiron Gang", "Marie Antoinette", "Memoirs Of A Geisha", "The Messengers", "The Net", "Philadelphia", "All The King's Men", "Blood And Chocolate", "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", "The Da Vinci Code", "The Fifth Element", "Les Miserables", "The Mothman Prophecies", "Secret Window", "Seven Years In Tibet" and "Stealth".

    That's a mouthful.

    I didn't get this when it was out nor when it was an exclusive. I bought my copy, still sealed as Best Buy's promo. Found and bought off eBay for $6.44 (complete, shipping and taxes) on February 28th, 2020. It arrived in early March of that year.

    Should be noted that three other titles were part of that offer - but not listed on the sticker; "Larry The Cable Guy: Morning Constitutions", "Fantastic Four: Extended Edition" and "Children Of Men". To be through.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    I can understand why there is controversy over the topic, sure. But the basic idea is rather mundane. So what if Jesus had a wife - Mary Magdalene and when it hit the fan she fled with their child to France. Okay. And?

    The doc is leveled; you get various religious scholars and experts giving their view on the Dan Brown book which got turned into a movie, "The Da Vinci Code" (2003/2006). It didn't pick a side. Points of view are shown, you decide who the believe.

    Okay. That's fair.

    I just don't see why it's a big deal. Jesus was human first, son of God second. He ate, burped, pooped and told jokes. C'mon he turned water into wine - you know he could be fun at parties. Personally I don't believe in the supernatural aspect of the tale. I'm an atheist and not one of those insufferable ones. I like Christmas and nativity scenes, they're festive.

    For me, Jesus was some pre-hippy dude who was saying things at the time which were unheard of...

    Be kind to each other.

    Love yourself and your neighbor.

    Hate won't make yourself be person.

    Help your community as they need it - as you can.

    Don't be stealing.

    Have conviction on what you know is true.

    Basic things, but were extraordinary said back in the day. He made enemies since he challenged the powers that be. I don't view Pontius Pilate as the bad guy. He had better things to do. This was something population would work out. But Jesus made enemies who went over Pilate's head - to Rome and wanted this fellow taken out. His hands were tied.

    So events materialized.

    What I think happened is his followers wanted the momentum to carry on. How to do it? Make him legendary, the son of God. What was done to keep this message alive got fractured into various denominations. I don't think they were trying to make it complicated, they wanted this philosophy to encourage and inspire others. It just got way out of hand.

    Those are my thoughts. Anyhow, it's an even handed documentary narrated by Susan Sarandon.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.

    Yeah this is another small entry. Gonna need to bulk this puppy up! But this time out - in a different direction. Indeed.

    A couple years back the TV channel, TBD (To Be Discussed) would air documentaries late at night. I'm a night owl. So it was a perfect fit. Saw a lot of good stuff. But there was one particular doc I kept missing; the front and getting to the last half hour or so.

    After some time I finally decided to buy it. But discovered it wasn't available in America, United Kingdom only. Okay. I have a region free DVD player. I'll cover that history in a later entry. My original search came on the single disc version... almost bought that. No.

    There was a two disc limited edition collection. I want that. Found a seller on eBay in England who would sell it to me. Bought it for $40.25 (total) on February 3rd, 2021 and it arrived on later that month.



    I'm speaking of the Michael Caine doc, "My Generation" (2017). This eighty-five minutes production showcases the 1960s, life in England. It's amazing how much archival footage was used. Slices from the decade with a ton of new (audio only, narration) interviews. The Limited Edition is a combo set; DVD and BD in a digipak along with an information booklet (thirty-six pages; introduction by Caine) and four postcards.

    My moan is I want this to be longer. Some of the events shown were just touched upon. Needed to be at the very least two hours long. There are no extras on either discs, bare bones. That sucks too, not even the trailer is included.

    Man, this was a labor of love by Caine and producers; it took them six years to make - to get the rights to the music they wanted and acquiring footage. The thing is intercut from the present and '60s with Caine... who did various interviews. The man was damn prolific back in the day. Wow.

    He narrates and stars in it. Call it, the birth of pop culture in London.

    What was such a surprise; learning that international model, Twiggy had a chain of fashion stores around the globe - "Twiggy". Did not know that. Dress like her, that was a thing. This documentary is the closest thing to a time machine. The combo set came out on May 28th, 2018 for 29.99 from Lionsgate. And came with a Digital Copy. Zero regrets.

    Excellent stuff. Sway. Wish it was longer with bonus materials. Such as "The Rolling Stones"; last year found on YouTube, footage from a 1960s British music show, "Circus". The band was playing the song "Sympathy For The Devil". Holy crap, Mick Jagger looked high as hell; making weird body movements, contortions. At one point he had sit down since it was sweating like it was nobody business, shirtless. WTF? Plus one of the background players had maracas, so into the music - in the zone. [shake - shake - shake]

    There you go. See you back here on July 29th, 2021 for something. Yup something, something. Surprise! Indeed.

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