Archive for November, 2010

Avengers is the only good child of Disney and Marvel on television

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Disney’s ‘Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!’ Is Better Than You Might Think –

What surprises me the most is how literate Robbie Hays is regarding the Avengers.  He might be as knowledgeable as me regarding the Silver Age Avengers.

I wish I had time to go into this more but right now I’m still peeved that I cannot find an article explaining why Chris Yost (the show’s creator) decided that the television show should present Marvel Comics’ Hydra (Michael Hutchison could see it as a Marvel version of Kobra or Intergang, although Hydra came first) as a subsititute/proxy for the real-life National Socialist Party, commonly known as the Nazis!

even the dead still have birthdays and Hoagy Carmichael proves it

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » Hoagy Carmichael: Happy Birthday to a Conservative American Patriot.

Can we see Joihn Wayne’s Alamo restored now around its 50th anniversary?

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

I never knew that the 50th anniversary of this epic picture has come and gone.  I never knew that the celebration was coming and was never in a position to properly celebrate it regardless.  Dan Gagliasso writes thus.

The other weekend in San Antonio over 600 people gathered for the 50th anniversary re-premiere and celebration of one of the great American-themed epics of the early 1960s, John Wayne’s The Alamo. People came from far and wide to watch a director’s cut of the film on the River Center Imax screen and attend a dinner, concert and museum exhibit at the real Alamo featuring costumes, props and art work from this 1960 classic.

Seeing The Alamo on a big screen where it was meant to be experienced really emphasizes the powerful imagery that has helped this film endure for fifty years. Wayne’s Alamo defenders are as one biographer described, “…an undisciplined group of rugged individualist from Tennessee and Texas who love freedom and resent authority.” Sounds like a bunch of lovable Tea Party members to me. That innately American sense of unbridled freedom celebrated in The Alamo is one of the reasons the film still resonates so well with so many people here and even abroad.


Made during the heyday of widescreen roadshow epics like El Cid and Lawrence of Arabia, Wayne’s film has always been a highly popular DVD title for the financially ailing MGM/UA. The biggest movie star ever, Wayne directed, produced and starred in this uniquely American story.  Nominated for seven Academy Awards, contrary to unsubstantiated claims of box-office failure the film was actually one of the top ten domestic grosser of 1960-61, but The Alamo’s then huge $12,000,000 budget initially cut into its profit margin and could have bankrupted Wayne. The film set box-office records in London, Paris, Rome and Japan eventually earning a then $28,000,000 world-wide during its initial 1960-61 release.

Unfortunately Wayne sold United Artists his participation in the future profits of the film.  He so believed in the power of the Alamo story that he had mortgaged his own home, other real estate and even his family cars and reluctantly agreed to star in the epic in order to bring it to the screen his way. At the time Wayne told the press, “I’ve gambled everything I own in this picture – all my money… and my soul.”

I love this movie.

I never knew that as the film was originally (and successfully) composed there was a roadshow version and a theatrical version and I did not know that my VHS and DVD copies of this masterpiece were not the originally intended versions of either film.

John Wayne says

Our damned liberal friends are screaming about violence to take our minds off of the pornographic bad taste that is being made in the motion picture business by their confreres.

I might never have seen the movie as it was intended to be presented.  If Robert A. Harris has his way I just might. He is working on restoring the film but not that the original film was damaged as a natural result of the fact these sorts of wonderful product were not created at the time to be preserved in and of itself in its original format in the original form.  Although doing so might be work on the scale of literally reversing old age.

What Makes Lightning McQueen Run? (Tick? Turn Over?)

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Someone cut open Lightning McQueen. This must be one vicious Disney chop shop.

Although all told, he does look pretty happy. Click to make big.

(Keep in mind that I’m stealing bandwidth here, and pray someone forgives me).

Now since Pixar typically packs in a good number of (only necessary) details on how each world seems to work (as much as is necessary to the plot, yet no more lest it distracts) it’s not wrong to just imagine, ponder, how these wanderers seem to work. The automobiles in Cars obviously are not designed to carry passengers, as the dominant lifeform seems to be, obviously CARS! We also see the interstates traveled by individuals driving themselves, which means a traveler traversing the country is doing so under his own power, and we saw this in the film. These are individual organisms equipped to self-propel across vast tracts of land, although these organisms need rest, fuel, much like people. The amount of wear-and-tear a CAR can take is evidently greater than that of a human for traveling the same distance under its/his/her own power.

I grabbed the link from among the comments on the page I linked to a few minutes ago but this is a logical follow-up, no?

peel back the skin? They don’t look so animated anymore!

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I like this: “Realistic Anatomies of Cartoon Characters“.

Note that the “Sylvester the Cat” skull is another photo of Bugs Bunny’s skull, as cats don’t have buck teeth, Sylvester has canines.

The skeleton models are by Hyung Koo Lee and yes

is the most impressive of the bunch

but there are a diversity of subjects, drawings, by a diversity of artists, although I assume the Homer Simpson is from either an animation frame or official art.

Aside from the skeletons my favorite might be the Lego minifigure “Micro Schematic”. My least favorite is Michael Paulus’s Lucille Van Pelt sketch. I’m not sure why, as I love his Pikachu and Powerpuff Girl.

I’m also quite satisfied that someone finally bisected one of those Care Bears.

Microsoft Kinect hacked to expand its use

Monday, November 15th, 2010

Oliver Kreylos reverse-engineered the recently-released Microsoft motion-tracking camera hardware “to capture video in 3D… Kreylos says that only with one camera it was not possible to capture all angles necessary for a full 3D reconstruction. Yet again Microsoft hardware proved its worth where it can be used well beyond its specifications and its scope of use… Its interesting to note that Kreylos does not own an Xbox and this hack only shows how Kinect can be used on alternative platforms.”

It’s beautiful how this gadget can be made for more than the professional designers intended. Real innovation and invention is much more than what it is entailed in corporate funding and terms of use agreements.

Plinkett Reviews Sith – coming soon!

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

I’m psyched! Are you psyched?

I didn’t realize he’d done a Star Trek ’09 review. Here it is. Language warning, of course.