Saturday, May 10, 2008

SPEED RACER (2008)


I almost skipped seeing SPEED RACER after reading the reviews in the newspapers. I am glad I did not! MOVIE CRITICS base their reviews on alot of the other garbage that circulates the movie theaters these days and may not understand POP CULTURE as I do. Being an animation historian and Biographer, I have a different take on films like this and understand where this film is coming from, growing up on the classic cartoon series. The Wachowski brothers (THE MATRIX) also understood what made the series work for millions of children as MACH A GO GO and clearly had fun with the film! Perfectly cast, I am happy to report my son and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is not quite as good as IRONMAN and it certainly will win no Academy Awards BUT if you loved the series, you will definitely enjoy the film! Going in, I was expecting the ONE STAR film the newspaper reported about. What I saw was good family morals being displayed by the RACER family and the BEST role I have ever seen JOHN GOODMAN (POPS RACER) in! SPRIDAL was played by an actor that looked like he was right out of THE LITTLE RASCALS. He had a unique look and he was very funny! Usually, Hollywood casts cute, unlikeable kids in a role like this. CHIM CHIM was played by a real Chimp (Not a bad CGI character) and he was GREAT as well! SPEED and TRIXIE were perfect! All of the actors were. The score featured all of the original suites from the series, just rerecorded by an orchestra (I have the original soundtrack from JAPAN on CD). I guess what I liked most about the film was what SPEED and his family stand for...STAND UP for what you believe in and don't let anyone stop you. Too many of today's heros have a darkside and are sinister instead of heroic. The Warchowski brothers could have easily have taken that route BUT they chose to represent the show and the characters as they were..heroic and likeable.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Thursday, May 08, 2008

PIRATES!

Here is a good picture of the guy who towed (stole) my car a few weeks back! He is the one all the way to the right. Yo ho ho!

HIYA, KIDS! Saturday Morning lineup from the 1950's

This NEW DVD set is GREAT! All shows before my time BUT it is GREAT to see how Children's television began and there are LOTS of PUPPETS! Includes TIME FOR BEANY, KUKLA, FRAN & OLLIE, HOWDY DOODY, THE CISCO KID, SUPER CIRCUS, SHEENA, QUEEN OF THE JUNGLE, ROY ROGERS, LASSIE, etc. SHOUT is to be commended for always offering such GREAT classic TV! Wonderful packaging too!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

STEVE RUDE: ARTIST IN MOTION

I have been friends with the DUDE a very long time! His new slipcase edition of his book STEVE RUDE: ARTIST IN MOTION (FLESK) arrived today and I have to say, I am completely blown away by it! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND It to anyone that loves GREAT art! He is truely the artist's artist! There is all kinds of GREAT stuff in here from his beautiful paintings of SPIDER-MAN, SPACE GHOST, SUPERMAN and the HULK...to sketchbook pages, life drawings and portraits of beautiful women! Pick this one up!

SAM THE SNOWMAN

BURL is telling SAM (In this very RARE publicity shot c. 1964 RANKIN/BASS) "If you owe someone SILVER & GOLD, you should pay them!" Hopefully, BORDERS BOOKS & MUSIC will learn from this.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

BORDERS BOOKS & MUSIC chapter 11 in an empty book?


Do you remember when we brought the original RANKIN/BASS ANIMAGIC figures of SANTA & RUDOLPH out to BORDERS BOOKS & MUSIC in Schaumburg, IL this past Holiday season for TWO book signings of my book THE MAKING OF THE RANKIN/BASS HOLIDAY CLASSIC: RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER (in good faith)? Well, I may have something to say about BORDERS BOOKS & MUSIC that may not be very pleasant. I will give them a few more days to respond, before I say anything.

Monday, May 05, 2008

RENDERED SERVICES, INC.



Mark Saxenmeyer of FOX NEWS CHICAGO did a NEWS STORY on FOX NEWS tonight called "Carried Away," exposing RENDERED SERVICES, INC. and their towing of legally parked cars and then charging the people that own them, $170 to get them out of lock up. Literally hundreds of complaints have been filed with the BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU and the ILLINOIS COMMERCE COMMISION and they are still in business, doing what they do. RENDERED SERVICES, INC. towed my car and pulled the same scheme with me on April 25th and I am considering a class action suit. Hopefully, this NEWS story will bring all the victims together and unite them for justice.

SUPER HEROES!






After seeing IRONMAN (Enjoyed the film!), I decided to post some pics of some of my SUPER HEROE collection.

RARE RANKIN/BASS items


In 1966, ARTHUR RANKIN was given a gift by the ANIMAGIC technicians (PINCHAN) during the making of the ANIMAGIC feature film MAD MONSTER PARTY. They carved him a salad Fork and spoon featuring the characters of FANG (Frankenstein) and DRACULA. Years later, Arthur came accross these again and graciously gave them to me as a holiday gift. I had them out on our Holiday tour this past season.

WILLY McBEAN and PABLO carved and painted wood by BOB DUBE


These scripts are the original scripts from the RANKIN/BASS classics RETURN TO OZ (1964) and SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN (1970). The SANTA CLAUS script is ARTHUR RANKIN's shooting script which he gave to me. The RETURN TO OZ script is Romeo Muller's original and very first RANKIN/BASS script!

WOODY WOODPECKER DVD Box set Vol. 2

The NEW WOODY WOODPECKER & FRIENDS Vol. 2 DVD set is AWESOME! Contains the cartoons I remember as a kid from the late 1950's to the Mid-1960's and it includes a full episode of the WOODY WOODPECKER Show that looks as if it is from a negative and the wonderful SPACE MOUSE pilot featuring the voice of PAUL FRESS!

MAURY LAWS & the BASEBALL MUSIC PROJECT

MAURY LAWS (RANKIN/BASS Musical Composer) wrote suites for the touring BASEBALL MUSIC PROJECT, which just passed through Maury's hometown in Wisconsin! It will be in BOSTON and SAN DIEGO this summer as well! There are artifacts from COOPERSTOWN that tours with this show and the last I heard DAVE WINFIELD presented the show! www.maurylaws.com

TED POST, creator of HAZEL passes at age 95

TED KEY, the creator of HAZEL passed away this past Saturday at age 95. What a GREAT cartoonist and I loved the TV series that came later!