Theater Films 2014

Posted in Miscellania on December 31, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

I saw 16 films in a theater setting in 2014. My favorites were Captain America 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy. The Hobbit III and Sin City 2 were at the bottom. I found Godzilla to be hugely overrated and Edge of Tomorrow, Lucy and Dracula: Untold to be sleepers. A fun year in film.

Monsterminions List of Theater Films 2014
1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
2. Robocop
3. Bad Words
4. The Winter Soldier
5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
6. Godzilla
7. X-Men Days of Future Passed
8. Edge of Tomorrow
9. Lucy
10. Guardians of the Galaxy
11. Sin City 2
12. Dracula: Untold
13. Interstellar
14. Fury
15. Big Hero 6
16. The Hobbit III

Film List 2014

Posted in Miscellania on December 31, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

222 films watched sitting on my butt in 2014. That’s approximately 20,000 minutes or 333 hrs or 2 week film marathon. In 2015 I think I will exercise more often.

*Never Seen Before

1. Goodfellas
2. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1945)*
3. Jaws
4. Star Wars (1977)
5. Island in the Sky
6. Latitude Zero
7. Adios, Sabata
8. Gamera II
9. The Time Machine
10. Sabata (1969)* Continue reading

2014 in Review

Posted in Year in Review on December 31, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 63,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Wolf Man and Big Franky

Posted in Model Kits on December 9, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

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The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

Posted in Adventure, Cult Movies with tags , on December 9, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

SWHS

This past week’s Simpson’s Christmas episode featured a short bit with Comic Book Guy watching and enjoying every minute of the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special, which aired on CBS November 17, 1978.  I watched it back then and through the miracle of videotape preservationists and the inspiration from comic book guy I can watch it now.  I dug out a pristine DVD-R of dubious origin, with provenance from a VHF terrestrial broadcast from the Baltimore, Maryland region, and popped it in.  Low and behold it still sucks and managed to put me asleep not once, but on three separate occasions.

SWHS_Itchy

The story has Chewie (Peter Mayhew), in co-pilot with Han (Harrison Ford) attempting to get back to his home planet to spend time with his Wookie family during Life Day.  His family consists of his wife Malla, dad Itchy (above) and son Lumpy (below) who worry that Chewie has not yet arrived for the holiday.  They live in an astro-turfed tree house clad with interesting gaming tables, media playback devices (that suspiciously look like a cassette tape recorder), lots of stairs, and Archie Bunker chairs. They are befriended by fellow rebel Art Carney (yes, Ed Norton).

SWHS_Lumpy

Art Carney plays a junk dealer/trader (years before Watto) who runs a shop a lot like a Spencers Gift or a Walgreens. Here Wookies can purchase tacky crap like minature fish tanks and Chia-Wookies. Later as the story progresses Carney even goes into his Ed Norton routine in front of an Imperial officer, snatching an imaginary fly from the air, with the officer responded in Ralph Kramden prose “Will you get on with it!”.

SWHS_Carney Bug Shtick

Mark Hamill appears tinkering in a garage, presumably on Tattooine, with R2, touching base with the Wookies by way of a video-phone (years before Face Time). What is up with Hamill’s makeup?

SWHS_Hamill_Makeup

Along the way we also see Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and C3PO who reassure the Wookies that Han will deliver Chewie safe and sound. Meanwhile Han and Chewie fly around in the Falcon, yelling in a cockpit which looks like a set from Plan 9 from Outer Space. Harvey Korman plays multiple roles, including a bizarre segment as a Shields and Yarnell like android that teaches young Itchy how to build an Illudium Q-36 explosvie space modulator. Diahann Carroll and the Jefferson Starship also perform two dreadful musical numbers; thankfully at separate intervals in the special.

Of interest to Star Wars fans are the later appearances and closeup views of Rick Baker’s original Cantina monsters, which appear in a bar run by Bea Arthur! I could not dream this stuff up in a nightmare.

The Star Wars Holiday Special is probably best know for a well-conceived animation segment which features the original appearance of bounty hunter Boba Fett (more closely resembling Jango Fett). There’s also an alien co-pilot that reminds me a bit of a Mon Calamari (Admiral Ackbar).

SWHS_Mon Calamari Prototype

The animation closely resembles portions of Heavy Metal (1981), especially the Taarakian Warrior sequence, down to the bird-like beasts that Boba and Taarna ride.  If I thought it worth my time I’d do some research and likely confirm some of the same animators worked on both segments. I might be wrong. The holiday special also gives us glimpses of Fett’s nefarious and double-crossing ways and effective gadgetry, including a projectile lasso.

SWHS_Fett_Lasso Launcher

SWHS_Fett with Lasso

The Star Wars Holiday Special is quite a curiosity and there are entire web pages dedicated to the feature. Upon one single viewing it is clear that the older executives at CBS had no clue what Star Wars was about and how it connected with the younger generation. Star Wars was exciting and heroic with a terrific sense of humor.  In this TV mess we see Art Carney delivering awkward and dated shtick from the 50’s. Still, this surreal  time capsule is an essential addition to any child of the 70’s video arsenal and worth a look for historians, morons and revisionist filmmakers. Ben Affleck allegedly studied the special as a template for the look of Argo (now I am just lying).

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Darth Crusader?

Posted in Sci-Fi with tags , , on November 28, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

Very interesting. I am assuming this character is a Sith Lord. Perhaps a holy warrior or Crusader for the Sith?

SW_VII_DARTH CRUSADER

Only $478,000

Posted in Collectibles, Horror with tags on November 25, 2014 by MONSTERMINIONS

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