Sunday, March 15, 2009

From the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear e-mailbox

I have a few items of interest to my many reader that were passed along to me via some friends and fellow bloggers…which benefits me in that I don’t have to sit down and rack my brains for something substantive (as if most of the content here reaches that lofty threshold) because I’m putting the finishing touches on an outside project. This should not, however, tarnish the worthy contributions of my aforementioned colleagues…so please take my joviality in the spirit in which it was meant.

A bloke what calls himself Steve gave me a pointer to a website that fondly remembers the classic Britcom On the Buses, a program I’ve mentioned on this blog from time to time, and if you’re a fan like I am—or even mildly curious—you should check it out. There’s a celebration of the comedy’s 40th anniversary to be held this year (Saturday, June 27, 2009) but the details are still a bit sketchy so you may want to bookmark the site and make periodic visits in case more info is added (and if I get something, I’ll be sure to pass it along).

Nathaniel at Film Experience gave me a heads-up on a meme entitled: “If these photos could talk…” (He told me about this at the beginning of March, so I apologize profusely for just now getting around to it.) The way it works, you post a candid photo of movie stars who seem to be engaged in casual conversation—a picture that causes you to speculate just what they might be talking about.

I don’t collect a lot of photos, but I do have a couple of snaps featuring old-time radio stars that I would dearly love to have been a fly on the wall when they were taken. For example, this great picture with Fred Allen and the team of Charles Correll and Freeman Gosden (collectively known as Amos ‘n’ Andy):

Here’s another one of my favorites (one I’ve used as a TDOY header in the past), in which Jimmy Durante has been cast in the role of referee between Fred and his nemesis Jack Benny:

And one more with Schnozzola, dining with his then-sidekick Garry Moore and producer Phil Cohan:

Well, you get the idea. Our final item—call it the dessert—on the menu is The Large Association of Movie Blogs’ Box Office Madness, a contest designed in similar fashion to March Madness—that time of the year when office drones and other dedicated co-workers cut their productivity in half by gambling on what college team will emerge victorious in the NCAA tournament by means of a “bracket” system. Allow me to let Dylan Fields, the Illustrious Potentate at LAMB, to describe how the Box Office Madness deal will work:

The idea:

Readers and longtime members of the LAMB will recall that, last year, we had a summer box office prediction game entitled the "Summer of LAMB." It was nothing fancy - just a number of people guessing what the top 10 movies would be, in order. However, with the NCAA tournament right around the corner, and with my joint film and sports appreciation, I got the idea to run a box office game the same way that the tournament is run. 32 films, one box office champion, many shining moments.

So, what you'll do is click on the link provided below, download your bracket, fill it by picking the movie for each matchup that you think will have the higher box office total, and send it to me by April 2.

The rules:

1. For each matchup, select which film will have the higher box office. Continue through the bracket until a champion has been crowned.

2. Scoring per round will be 1-2-4-8-12, for a possible total of 76 points (see table in workbook).

3. For the tie-breaker, enter your predicted top 5 films (box office) from the ones listed. One point for will be rewarded for each correct film, and an additional point for proper placement, for a potential 10 points. In the case of a tie, if one person's tie-breaker portion is not filled out, the other will win.

4. Brackets MUST be turned in (sent to no later than April 2.

5. Box office data will be counted from April 3 - September 27, 2009.

6. One entry per person.

The prizes:

TBD. I just thought of this and put it together in the last couple days, so the exact prizes are not know at this point. But there will be prizes! Some ideas already in the mix are a custom-made t-shirt, DVDs, and possibly cash. Since the brackets aren't officially due until April 2, and they won't officially end until almost six months later, I think we're okay with this. Hopefully, though, everything will be figured out come April 2.

Because confession is good for the soul, I’ll admit that I’ve never had much luck with the March Madness thing because my knowledge of college basketball would fit neatly on a napkin—and even though I’ll stand a better chance with the subject being movies, my predilection for what sells movie tickets probably won’t be much better. (My strategy: pick the movie that I would least likely go to—it can’t miss.) However, please don’t interpret this as some sort of hoity-toity trendy movie blogger thing—Dylan wants as many people as possible to participate:

Finally, what fun would this be if it's just a few people? I want this to be BIG! I've made the banner that you see in the sidebar, and I'd love it if you'd put it on your site as well (if possible). Let's do this right! With any luck, everyone will be doing it next year.

All he needs is a hunchbacked assistant and a laboratory wired for sound and BAM! He’s in the mad scientist bidness. Here’s the banner:

And here’s where you download the entry form. That’s a wrap, everyone!

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