Better writers than I will doubtless be weighing in shortly on the passing of legendary film critic Roger Ebert. It would probably be a waste of your (and my) time to try and add my own paltry two cents. So instead I want to remember Roger and his old partner Gene Siskel in happier days, on the set of their timeless syndicated review program At the Movies. These outtakes represent the unique bond and vicious senses of humor the two shared. Warning: This is definitely not for the easily offended.
I just had so much gosh darn fun putting together my retrospective of fast food burger chain logos that I decided to turn it into a YouTube slideshow. Because some people just love slideshows. And as a special bonus I included audio extracts from vintage TV ads for some of the chains, like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, Arby's, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Hardee's, Carl's Jr., and Checkers/Rally's. Enjoy!
Sorry, not a ton of time this week to put together something too involved. So it's back to the YouTube vaults for some more vintage game highlight films. Specifically, the San Diego Chargers/Denver Broncos contest from week 11 of the 1975 regular season. On November 30, 1975, winless San Diego traveled to Denver to play the Broncos on a brisk, 19-degree afternoon. Despite racking up a meager three first downs and 123 yards on offense, the Bolts managed to bring the game to overtime. Of course, it stands that the Chargers' only TD was a 42-yard punt return by rookie Mike Fuller. But all was for naught as Jim Turner booted a 25-yard field goal in the extra period.
Fans of the horror classic Halloween have noted quite a few inconsistencies over the years. Like, why are the trees full of green leaves in Illinois during late October? Why do all the cars have California plates? And most importantly, how the hell did Michael Myers learn to drive a car when he's been locked inside Smith's Grove Sanitarium since he was 6 years old? Well thanks to Adam Green of ArieScope Pictures, now we know. Turns out there's a deleted scene that explains the whole thing. Check it out: Nice. Oh and how cool is it that Michael is played by Kane Hodder, who also played Jason Voorhees in four Friday the 13th films? Very cool indeed.
I finally got the urge to splurge on a new device -- the Ion Video 2 PC if you're curious -- to transfer my old VHS cassettes to digital format. So naturally the first thing I did was to hunt for old commercials so I could upload them to YouTube. Because screw old movies or sentimental stuff, right? This first batch has lasted for 30 years, believe it or not. They were recorded as part of a June 19/20, 1982 WABC-TV Channel 7 (New York) airing of the Frank Sinatra World War II classic, Von Ryan's Express. Included for your viewing pleasure are the classic late '70s/early '80s WABC Saturday Night Movie bumper and four spots from the first commercial break -- Acme Supermarket, Woolite, La Yogurt, and IHOP.
Let's be very clear here -- the only reason you or I are even watching this video is because "Friday" was such a colossally bad song. Of course it turned Rebecca Black into a star of sorts, even if it brought her a tidal wave of snide jokes and venomous criticism. But narcissism and opportunism being what they are, Black is back. This time there appears to have been some actual effort put into one of her songs, which I guess is an improvement. Witness the video for "Sing It," which is not as brutally funny as "Friday" but is also not as memorable. Sure, if the bar of quality for Black is the aural shitstorm that is "Friday," this is a vast improvement -- although no amount of AutoTune can hide the fact that she is simply an untalented singer. But even with a team of more professi...
So this is pretty cool, no? Some guy plopped an iPhone inside his guitar -- I know, crazy right? -- and he was able to capture the oscillation* of the guitar strings as he strummed Eric Clapton's unforgettable dead son ballad, "Tears in Heaven." He says the effect was achieved because of the camera's rolling shutter, whatever that means. God science is so boring. But this is neat: *a fancy word for vibration
Man, I could watch these Frankly Jazz clips on YouTube all day. Here's another excellent one -- it's tenor saxophonist Curtis Amy and his sextet performing the perennial classic "Summertime." I can't be sure who the other members of the group are, but the album that "Summertime" appears on is Tippin' On Through (Pacific Jazz ST-62). Many of you may not have heard of Curtis Amy, but you've probably heard him play at least once. He performed the sax solo on the Doors' 1968 Top 10 hit, "Touch Me." Here's a clip of the Doors (and Amy) performing the song on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in December of that year.
As if the impact of the Joplin tornado hasn't been well-documented enough, now comes new video from storm chasers Jeff and Kathryn Piotrowski. They film the twister as it hits Joplin and are there in the immediate aftermath. There's nothing explicit in here (aka visibly dead people), but the emotion of the moment may be a bit much for some. You've been warned. Related articles Joplin tornado toll rises to 141 (cnn.com) Elephant Helps In Joplin, Missouri (wycd.radio.com) The 10 deadliest tornadoes in world history (grayflannelsuit.net)