progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from Beanery, my other, other favourite Oakberkeleyland café:

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Finally got a much-needed cash injection this past week, which was a great relief, as February is turning out to be a very expensive little month. I only have myself to blame. I have to think of my taxes pretty soon; hopefully I’ll see some kind of return.

Got some hiking done before the deluge of rain we got over the weekend. February is looking a bit more like January usually is. I hope we get more rain like this until at least the end of April, though the break in the rain today was welcome. I went out to Point Isabel as I had a yearning for shoreline views. Lots of shorebirds to see, notably avocets which are probably my favourite shorebirds.

[ profile] albadger and I watched the aforementioned Claudelle Inglish, the Southern-fried potboiler that was supposed to catapult TV starlet Diane McBain to the Hollywood A-list (it didn’t). It turned out to not have been worth the wait, but it did have its moments (and, I must say, its plot was anything but predictable).

Fans of my Random Video Finds feature rejoice: I took a bunch of screen-captures from one of my old videotapes, so I have a pretty big update coming up. Watch this space!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from the Hercules Library, possibly my favourite Contra Costa County public library:

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Right when life starts getting expensive, wouldn’t you know, my check from the EDD is delayed. And it’s all my fault for making a stupid mistake on my form. Won’t do that again!

[ profile] albadger and I had a much-missed Bad Movie Night this week. It was Death Promise, an extremely silly, and immensely entertaining, low-budget martial arts action movie made in 1970s New York. It’s viewable in its entirety on Youtube, which I suggest you do right now, stopping whatever else you’re doing. I was not expecting it to be that much fun!

In other cinematic news, I finally got me a copy of Claudelle Inglish, the trashy potboiler 1961 film starring Diane McBain and based on the novel by Erskine Caldwell. I have been looking for this film for years, ever since reading about it in Bad Movies We Love, but finding a copy has been difficult, as it never received a home video release in any format. More updates after I wind up watching it...
progbear: Weenies from Spongebob (weenies)
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As previously stated, I recently acquired a pile of old episodes of ABC’s Saturday Superstar Movie. Most of these were intended as pilots for future cartoon series, but only a few of them were actually sold. And there were a handful of one-offs. Oh, you’ll see! More specific info in the reviews below:

Tabitha & Adam & the Clown Family )

Gidget Makes the Wrong Connection )

The Mini-Munsters )

Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter )

The Red Baron )

Chakra Khan

Jul. 7th, 2014 06:51 pm
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from the streets of Berserkeley:

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Cool discovery this week: my co-worker C____ likes Krautrock! It happened quite accidentally as we were going together in the 1-Ton to clean out one of the campgrounds after lunch. She had her MP3 player and the FM transmitter hooked up, and was flipping through albums looking for something appropriate to play, when I spotted the cover to Can’s Future Days. She was so excited that I even knew what it was! “Most people don’t even know Can!” she said. Later on, I caught her singing along to Amon Düül II. A pity she’s on vacation and I won’t see her again for two weeks. Oh well, I have other cool co-workers, but they’re not “Hydra is laughing, she’s got nine heads” cool.

Oh, and I finally have something I’ve wanted for quite some time: a laserdisc player! It’s a Pioneer, and I forget the model number exactly (CLP...something) but I tested it last night and it does indeed work! (I semi-tested it in my park housing, without the TV, and smelled rubber which was unnerving.) The test disc was Scissors, a campy 1991 psychological thriller starring Sharon Stone. I’ve seen this one before ([ profile] albadger and I watched it on Netflix Streaming when it was available there) and have wanted a copy ever since I read about it in Bad Movies We Love. But it’s never been released on DVD, and the VHS copy usually goes for big bucks when it turns up, so I’m quite fortunate to own the laserdisc, and have it in pretty good shape (even on my crappy Zenith CRT television, it looks great).

I finally broke down last week, succumbed to the hype and bought The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Now a week later, I’m 150 pages in (quite a lot for me) and own the sequel. I guess I liked it. And you can bet I’ll get the third in the trilogy when it comes out. Why couldn’t Game of Thrones have affected me this way? Eh, I’ll take another stab at it when I’m done reading these two.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Self-portrait from just off the north end of Highway 236, near a striking cliff face:

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Rather busy week this week. Jay Camp is becoming popular, so popular that I’ve had to wait in line to take a shower. I’m making enough money now that I can actually make some decent purchases. I’m sort of window-shopping for new clothes and new bedding, and I’m considering getting one of those snazzy new flat-screen TVs to replace my much-suffering Zenith CRT.

I went by Urban Ore this week and was sorely tempted by the Montgomery Wards CED player I found. I can’t imagine it would be something I would ever need (if it were a proper laserdisc player, that would be a different story), but it would be still fun to have. There was also this bit of artwork:

Crazy artwork behind the cut )

If I had $95 to just casually throw away, I’d have bought it in a heartbeat. My friends were quick to inform me how “hideous” it is. I don’t care. I still want it.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
From the Tiburon Ferry Terminal, waiting for my boat to take me out to the island for my second day of work:

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That’s actually the Movie Explorer shirt I’m wearing in this photo. It might actually be one of the approved items in the uniform handbook, which means I could get State Park patches sewn on the sleeves and wear it as my proper uniform. Incidentally, I do actually wax before going over on the boat, as when I don’t people start expecting me to make them laugh by narrating the folksy misadventures of Huckleberry Finn, and that’s really more of a Calaveras Big Trees sort of thing.

What can I say about working out on the island. It’s rough, back-breaking work, but I absolutely love it. The people are great and even the most mundane of tasks is made enjoyable by those views. As my work-mate Stephen and I make our daily rounds checking trash cans and bathrooms, we get views of three Bay Area bridges, the Berkeley Hills, San Francisco, the Marin Headlands, Mt. Tamalpais and various other, smaller islands. Plus wildlife (mostly deer and various kinds of birds), trees and lots of happy hikers and campers. On Saturday, when raking debris under the Norfolk Island Pine out in front of the old immigration office, I got to help elementary school students with a class assignment by answering their questions. uniform is still not ready yet. The Movie Explorer shirt was actually fairly decent in that it’s similar to the uniform shirt, and I got a Flying Cross shirt (hugely discounted!) from the military surplus shop in Berkeley which I’m going to get patched so I’ll have a spare work shirt. But the regular uniform won’t be ready until Tuesday. And I’ll be at work during business hours, so I have to have Carol make the trek up to Santa Rosa to pick it up. So...hooray! Only one more uniform-less day before I start looking official/professional.

In other news, [ profile] albadger invited [ profile] bigjohnsf and I into the city to watch the Free Shakespeare at the Presidio. I now have the answer to the question, “What is the worst production of Macbeth you have ever seen?” Note to play directors everywhere, you have to engage your audience! Especially for an old, frequently-seen warhorse like Macbeth. From the sloppy sound mixing to the uninspired set design to the costumes that looked like they were left over from other, better productions (it’s like they couldn’t decide whether to go for period or modern dress, so they went for something indefinite in-between), there was a certain air of “just didn’t care” about the whole thing. At times, I found myself just closing my eyes and concentrating on the rhythm of the blank verse, as I really had no problem with the acting (save for the porter, who seemed to be channeling Fat Bastard). And it did finally start to become engaging in the final fourth, when it went from merely tediously bad to hilariously bad. There was a bit where the witches seemed to be electrocuting Macbeth, which was silliness personified, and it’s a wonder any scenery survived to the end what with Lady Macbeth sinking her teeth into all of it. And finally a theme sort of arose, what with dead people talking, it seemed they were attempting to tap into the current fad of [groan] “zombie chic.”

With regards to Movie Explorer stuff, I have definitely been derelict in my editing duties. Hoping to get some editing done here at the café today, though it looks like Gay Shame Month is going to go into extra innings this year. I also flaked on The Weekly Puck, which means two this week (I’ll probably wind up just posting both of them today, it is my day off, after all).
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
If I can’t embed Blip videos, LJ, can I at least fake it with a clickable image link?

Che! (1969)

The Movie Explorer reviews Che!, 20th Century Fox’s 1969 epic based on the popular T-shirt.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (My handlebar)
Jeez, so sorry for the delay in the weekly post!

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I guess the big achievement this past week was reconnecting with [ profile] sideburnedbear after a lengthy absence. We wound up watching Godmonster of Indian Flats at his place and going out for Indian food. As for GOIF...on my God, what a bizarre film. synopsis behind the cut )

New Movie Explorer review still in the process of being written. I hope to get it taped this week and up by sometime next week.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Direct link because blah blah Blip embeds incompatible with LJ markup blah.

Bert I. Gordon’s contribution to the Sunday kiddie matinée (well, this and The Magic Sword as seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000). Come for Bert’s inept rear-projection effects and the awful acting of his daughter Susan, stay for the cringeworthy dialogue and Blackbeard’s incomprehensible accent.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Direct link, because LJ still hates

The Movie Explorer goes dipping from the Pia Zadora well a second time with this Harold Robbins adaptation (“the Showgirls of the 80s”) that redefines the word “trashy.”
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
The latest Movie Explorer review now available for viewing. It’s for the 1974 movie The Second Coming of Suzanne:

It’s based on the song by Leonard Cohen. But not really. And it stars Richard Dreyfuss. But not really.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

Gay Shame Month concludes with the first ever gay biker film. I...can’t help but be a bit disappointed.

Check out the cameo by our own [ profile] broduke2000
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
Self-portrait from Point Pinole, at roughly the same location as this photo.

By the silver waterside

[ profile] albadger, [ profile] bigjohnsf and I watched the infamous 1980 film Windows this week. From the era when a murder suspect is a murder suspect because she’s a lesbian; fortunately this sort of film would become unacceptable a few years after. A definite three-act structure: Act 1=distasteful, Act 2=boring, Act 3=ridiculous. Elizabeth Ashley did the Bette Davis Beyond the Forest thing and gave this horrible thriller the silly performance it deserves. Eliciting protests in its day, nowadays it’s pretty much justly forgotten.

Saturday was the church service for my dad, at Our Lady of Mercy in Point Richmond. Got the chance to catch up with family.

Apart from some extraneous noise (which disappointed/annoyed the hell out of me), the new Movie Explorer episode is coming along fairly well. I expect it’ll be up within the week.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
The new Movie Explorer review is up. Gay Shame Month 2 of 3:

It’s for the 1969 Komedy movie The Gay Deceivers. Enjoy!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)

[Courtesy link, in case the embed doesn’t work.]

What do you get when you mix hippies, LSD and Lana Turner?

You get a Lana Turner movie with hippies and LSD in it. Duh!
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
The Movie Explorer reviews the infamous 1934 movie Maniac. From the dawn of exploitation comes this insane movie about insanity, courtesy of the man who taught Ed Wood everything he knew, Dwain Esper.

Direct link

Youtube link pending.
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
This took much longer than I wanted it to. A day pissed away. Technical difficulties, but it’s finally up.

The Movie Explorer reviews the Golden Turkey Award winner for Worst Children’s Film: Pinocchio in Outer Space. Imagine three different cartoons smushed together haphazardly, each conceived by a different person, all of whom hate children. That’s what this movie is like.

Direct Blip link.

Youtube link.
progbear: Weenies from Spongebob (weenies)
The new Movie Explorer review now up:

It's a musical. Made in 1984. Starring multiple Razzie award winner Pia Zadora. Scared yet? You should be! It’s called Voyage of the Rock Aliens and it also features Allison La Placa, Ruth Gordon and Michael “Pluto” Berryman doing things they’re not proud of.

Direct link to Blip page

Watch on Youtube
progbear: Major-General Progbear (Default)
I’m on TV! to be exact:

Direct link in case the embed code doesn’t work.

Yes, it’s a bit crude but then, so is the movie I’m reviewing. I promise future reviews will be better. I’m a bit awkward in front of the camera here but I’m sure I’ll be more relaxed in the future.

Review #2 coming soon.

Thanks to [ profile] dhpbear for his invaluable help in making this happen.

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