SPECIAL PODCAST! “Heavy Is The Helmet” (SPECIAL EDITION)

Star-Wars-Podcast-2

[audio http://www.blissville.net/Podcasts/Episode_72.mp3]

In the conclusion to our two-part discussion of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, Mark Jeacoma and I discuss permutations and ruminations of the Star Wars franchise, as well as list our best-to-worst movies.  As of this writing, Regan has finished watching the first movie and “Attack of the Clones”, and is preparing for “Revenge of the Sith”.  Remember, these are just our opinions.  They’re neither right nor wrong, but I’m right.  I’m always right!

“Heavy Is The Helmet”
With David Lawler and Mark Jeacoma
Introduction Music: Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, Meco (1977)
Audio Clips: CBS/FOX Home Video Theme, 1995, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015), Star Wars: The Special Edition On VHS Commercial, 1997

© BlissVille, David Lawler copyright 2015 for all original vocal and audio content featuring David Lawler and selected guests each episode. This podcast, “BlissVille: Ears Of A Gundark” is not affiliated with Lucasfilm, Disney, 20th Century Fox, CBS/FOX Home Video, Fox Video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Bad Robot, or any subsidiaries and assigns. Any and all images, audio clips, and dialogue extracts are the property of their respective copyright owners. This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended. All music clips appear under Fair Use as well.

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SPECIAL PODCAST! “Ears Of A Gundark” (THX Remastered)

Star-Wars-Podcast-1

Tonight, a special two-part presentation: Mark Jeacoma and I discuss “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.  Also, special thanks to Andrew La Ganke for our brand-spanking-new server (even though it’s been around for the better part of a year, but it’s new to me)!  Episode 72: “Heavy Is The Helmet” will premiere tomorrow.  As of this writing, Regan is watching Episode 1: “The Phantom Menace” for the first time.

“Ears Of A Gundark”
With David Lawler and Mark Jeacoma
Introduction Music: Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk, Meco (1977)
Audio Clips: CBS/FOX Home Video Theme, 1983, 20th Century Fox Fanfare, 1977, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015), “The Phantom Menace” (1998), “Revenge of the Sith” (2005), “Star Wars” (1977), “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), “Return of the Jedi” (1983)

© BlissVille, David Lawler copyright 2015 for all original vocal and audio content featuring David Lawler and selected guests each episode. This podcast, “BlissVille: Ears Of A Gundark” is not affiliated with Lucasfilm, Disney, 20th Century Fox, CBS/FOX Home Video, Fox Video, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Bad Robot, or any subsidiaries and assigns. Any and all images, audio clips, and dialogue extracts are the property of their respective copyright owners. This blog and podcast was created for criticism, research, and is completely nonprofit, and should be considered Fair Use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. It is not an official product, and it should not be sold nor bought; this is intended for private use, and any public broadcast is not recommended. All music clips appear under Fair Use as well.

 

 

 

Vintage Cable Box: “Twice Upon A Time, 1983”

Vintage-Cable-Box-Cover-Image

“Do I get the job, or should we move right onto the shark infested waters test?”

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Twice Upon A Time, 1983 (Lorenzo Music), Warner Bros.

There are strange creatures that appear at night when you sleep. The strange creature bring you sweet dreams. Sometimes those strange creatures, the Figmen of Imagination, are thwarted or subverted by evil creatures from the Murkworks (usually dark-winged birds) that bring you nightmares. Of course because this is a “war” story, the Murkworks are locked in a never-ending battle with the Figmen for domination of the night-time world. The leader of Murkworks, Synonamess Botch (a bizarre hedonistic variation on Salvador Dali), abducts Greensleeves of the Figmen. He sends a message back to Din, the sub-dimensional city that exists between the worlds of reality and fiction.

While on garbage detail after being punished by the Rushers of Din, All-Purpose-Animal Ralph (the voice of Lorenzo Music) and his Harpo-esque sidekick, Mumford, come across Greensleeves’ message. His niece, aspiring actress Flora Fauna plays the part of damsel-in-distress for Bosch’s nightmares. Bosch convinces Ralph and Mum to steal the mainspring from something called a Cosmic Clock. Ralph and Mum do not know that the Cosmic Clock controls all of time … everywhere, thus any alterations will affect the Universe. After liberating the spring from the Cosmic Clock, time freezes. A free-land Fairy Godmother commissions superhero Rod Rescueman, an egotistical muscle-head who spends more time washing his cape than rescuing people, but he is interested in the pretty Flora.

Watching this movie as a kid, I was mesmerized by the animation, which was a mixture of Yellow Submarine (the poster art of Klaus Voorman) and Terry Gilliam’s work for Monty Python’s Flying Circus, as well as black & white live-action sequences. I couldn’t follow the convoluted plot, but I enjoyed the (largely) improvised performances of the actors, and remember this was before the advent of “retro-scripting” in later animated works like Dr. Katz, Home Movies, Archer, and Bob’s Burgers. David Fincher and Henry Sellick were among the crew of talented animators who made this movie.

TWICE UPON A TIME, 1983, (c)Warner Bros.
TWICE UPON A TIME, 1983, (c)Warner Bros.

Two versions of this film exist: one with unaltered “adult” language, and the other a “sanitized” version – safe for kids personally approved by the director, John Korty. Korty preferred the “kid” version because it would, presumably, have a wider release at the time. He would be wrong on both counts, as Alan Ladd’s company (which released Twice Upon A Time) was nearing bankruptcy. The Ladd Company was (right up there with Cannon) a defining force in early eighties cinema, producing the titles Outland, Night Shift, Chariots of Fire, Blade Runner, and Once Upon a Time in America.

John Korty animated short films for Sesame Street, and worked for Lucasfilm. George Lucas co-produced Twice Upon A Time and used his influence to get a release for the movie. I saw the original cut of the film and snickered at the off-color dialogue. While younger children would not understand most of the adult humor, the movie was most definitely made for kids, but adults could enjoy it too. When Korty learned HBO had aired the “adult” version of the movie, he threatened lawsuits. Later, the cleaned-up version of the movie was substituted, but fans of the movie noticed the changes, and complained. This was an unusual case of mandated censorship, very much in the way George Lucas tends to alter his work (incidentally some of Lucas’ work appears in the movie via Ibor, the robot-gorilla with a television screen for a head – he shows scenes from Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark).

Some thirty years later, the film holds up. In fact, in my advanced years I can actually follow the plot. The film tends to only be available in truncated form, clocking in at a slender one hour and fifteen minute running time. I have a VHS version of the film that runs five minutes longer. I don’t understand the discrepancy, because this release appears to be Korty’s approved version of the film. In addition my version of the movie contains a song by Michael McDonald, which I have been unable to verify with other releases of the film, which contain only his sister, Maureen’s songs. Perhaps there is a third version of the film.

Our first cable box was a non-descript metal contraption with a rotary dial and unlimited potential (with no brand name – weird). We flipped it on, and the first thing we noticed was that the reception was crystal-clear; no ghosting, no snow, no fuzzy images. We had the premium package: HBO, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, CNN, The Disney Channel, and the local network affiliates. About $25-$30 a month.  Each week (and sometimes twice a week!), “Vintage Cable Box” explores the wonderful world of premium Cable TV of the early eighties. 

“May The Fourth Be With You”

May-The-Fourth-Be-With-You

Star Wars was released 38 years ago, May 24th 1977, and tonight is affectionately known as Star Wars Day, and this is hilarious, on the Wikipedia Star Wars Day is defined as … an unofficial secular
holiday in May which celebrates the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. It is observed by fans of the movies. Observance of the holiday spread quickly due to Internet, social media, and grassroots celebrations.

We here at BlissVille thought it only fitting to celebrate the movies, the first three, or rather the middle three – episodes IV, V, and VI, the original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of
the Jedi. The movies are not only wildly successful science-fiction space operas filled with thrills, chills, and a half-naked Carrie Fisher, but touchstones, incredibly monstrous cultural phenomena, so
this will be a rather large, a super-sized episode.

One additional note: I thought rather than regurgitate the stories, I mean everybody knows the stories as written, performed, photographed, and edited, I wanted to talk about possible permutations and theories and ruminations of the original trilogy. Maybe next year, I’ll do the prequels. But tonight, we have Andrew La Ganke and later on, Mark Jeacoma to contribute.

BlissVille Fridays: “All The Dead Are Dead”

All-The-Dead-Are-Dead

I’m very excited to be taking a quick break from all the pain and suffering in the world, to discuss with my friend, Andrew, the end of the world as demonstrated in the 1977 cult science-fiction film, Damnation Alley starring George Peppard, Jan Michael Vincent, Paul Winfield, Murray Hamilton, and Kip Niven. This is just a plain, flat-out, great movie. One of my personal favorites – for years, I remember seeing it a million times on the Late, Late Show, and I saw it on pay-TV. This is one of those movies, like a few others, like Jaws, or The Godfather, that I can’t tune out or turn off. I have to watch from beginning to end, I love it that much.

“Death, Where Is Thy Sting? We’re Waiting.”

Death Where Is Thy Sting We're Waiting

Scott Frank is a 3D artist, a specialist in dimensional printing, and a former member of the SCA (The Society for Creative Anachronism), an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century. A quip often used within the SCA describes it as a group devoted to the Middle Ages “as they ought to have been.” We talk about the controversy over three-dimensional printing, Star Wars, The Fantastic Four, and life.

“May The Fourth Be With You”

May-The-Fourth-Be-With-You

Star Wars was released 38 years ago, May 24th 1977, and tonight is affectionately known as Star Wars Day, and this is hilarious, on the Wikipedia Star Wars Day is defined as … an unofficial secular
holiday in May which celebrates the Star Wars franchise created by George Lucas. It is observed by fans of the movies. Observance of the holiday spread quickly due to Internet, social media, and grassroots celebrations.

We here at BlissVille thought it only fitting to celebrate the movies, the first three, or rather the middle three – episodes IV, V, and VI, the original Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of
the Jedi. The movies are not only wildly successful science-fiction space operas filled with thrills, chills, and a half-naked Carrie Fisher, but touchstones, incredibly monstrous cultural phenomena, so
this will be a rather large, a super-sized episode.

One additional note: I thought rather than regurgitate the stories, I mean everybody knows the stories as written, performed, photographed, and edited, I wanted to talk about possible permutations and theories and ruminations of the original trilogy. Maybe next year, I’ll do the prequels. But tonight, we have Andrew La Ganke and later on, Mark Jeacoma to contribute.