Thursday, June 11, 2009

Deep thoughts from a lazy blogger

Well, let me put it this way – if I’m not the laziest person in the blogosphere, then Numero Uno had better start looking over his/her shoulder because I’m gaining ground and will be soon parading around with the coveted belt and tiara. I have no one to blame but myself, because I seem to be preoccupied with Facebook and reading witty things other people have to say…plus I sustained a slight heel sprain yesterday chasing after the postal dude to take a package so that I wouldn’t have to venture into town. (Fortunately I reached him in time, and I would just like to say that since the move to Athens I have been nothing short of impressed at how polite this city’s postal employees are—in contrast to the civil servants who work in Savannah, and who wouldn’t pee on me if I were on fire. Smock Lady, I’m talking to you!)

Speaking of awards, I thought faithful TDOY readers might be interested in hearing some of the results of the 2009 LAMMYs, the gratuitous back-pats passed out yearly by the Large Association of Movie Blogs, an organization that actually accepted me as a member even though I clumsily tried to bribe the admissions director with a double-sawbuck. (Seriously, if you think I’m making this up—here’s the interview.)

Major props and kudos go out to one of my favorite movie blogs, She Blogged by Night—administered by the irrepressible Stacia. Stacia copped the top prize for Best Design and shared another LAMMY with the blog Careful With That Blog, Eugene for Best Blog Name—both awards I personally feel were richly deserved, particularly Design. (Stacia admits in the comments section that she is a bit reticent about receiving this trophy as she had some assistance with her blog’s “look,” but I maintain that’s nit-picking at best.) The major award of the evening—Best Blog—went to Stacie Ponder’s Final Girl, who graciously accepted her accolade by taking a swipe at a detractor who (and this is why the irony alarm is going off, folks) exercised his prerogative as a movie critic by positing that her blog wasn’t necessarily all that and a bag of chips. As is the case, the LAMBs quickly closed ranks and ostracized the offender who had the unmitigated gall to offer a dissenting opinion (isn't that just like a critic?) by labeling him a "grouch" and a "crank." (In the meantime...stay classy, Stacie!)

(By the way, my editorial comments are indeed my own, and should not be interpreted as an attack on the Large Association of Movie Blogs—particularly its administrator, who’s not only a prince of a chap but does what he can with the tools that he’s got. So if you want to vent your spleen in the comments section...well, there's plenty of chicken salad and croissants for all, and maybe you'll get a free mp3 player out of it.)

I received some interesting e-mails from some TDOY devotees commenting on some of the TV-on-DVD announcements made here recently. Reader Larry of Melbourne, FL informs me that Timeless Media Group’s upcoming Tales of Wells Fargo release has already had a coming-out party in some of the many Sam’s Warehouse stores that dot the landscape of this great nation, and that the set does not contain any episodes from the final season (which I sort of suspected it wouldn’t, as the show adopted an hour-long format in the homestretch). A breakdown of the content:

  • Eleven of the fourteen episodes from Season One
  • Twenty-nine of the thirty-eight episodes from Season Two
  • Five of the thirty-eight episodes from Season Three

…and an additional episode that Larry wasn’t able to match with a title, which should come to a grand total of forty-six (although you may want to check my math). (Many thanks to him for contributing this information, by the way.)

Bob “Master of His (Public) Domain” Huggins also e-mailed me with a bit o’news that Hamilton Books is selling the MPI Cisco Kid collections (Volume 3 and Volume 4) for the unbelievable tariff of $4.95 each plus shipping. Bob’s not certain if these sets are going out of print but I remember pricing these a few years ago via DVD Price Search and getting “an arm and a leg” in response. (Okay, I may have made that last part up.) I’ve since lost interest in Ceesco and Pancho (there are plenty of P.D. episodes that will do that to a guy) but if you count yourself among the fans of the series, here’s your opportunity to snap up a not-too-shabby deal.

I also want to give a shout-out to our old friend John H., who sent me this link that I had actually read somewhere else but carelessly misplaced where I saw it before I could draw attention to it on the blog. Actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.—star of both 77 Sunset Strip and The F.B.I.—was the recipient of a special award given to him by top Fed Robert Mueller; here’s the story and I was positively gobsmacked to learn that Zimbalist is ninety-one and looking tanned, rested and ready.

Because I was naughty yesterday and wasted valuable time I could have spent on the blog I didn’t get the opportunity to issue my usual The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944) alert but I did manage to break away from the computer in time to catch two of my other favorite Preston Sturges films, Sullivan's Travels (1941—which alternates with Creek as my all-time fave…it just depends on which one I’ve seen last) and The Palm Beach Story (1942). Before Travels was shown, however, TCM unspooled an interesting curio in the form of a bizarre Technicolor two-reeler entitled Good Morning, Eve! (1934)—featuring funnyman Leon Errol as “Adam” and June MacCloy as his titled paramour. The color in this short is eye-poppingly gorgeous, with delirious musical numbers and women wearing clothing that can best be described as “scanty.” Busby Berkeley devotees will get a kick out of this one (even though he had no involvement in it); in fact it was released as an extra on Warner’s The Busby Berkeley Collection box set in 2006—as for myself, seeing some of my comedy idols like Errol and Vernon Dent in Technicolor is reward enough. (I experienced a similar feeling of satisfaction watching Dodge City [1939] last weekend, realizing that it was first time I’d seen Guinn “Big Boy” Williams in color.)


Laura said...

I also saw GOOD MORNING, EVE! and couldn't believe what I was watching (grin). The color was astounding...and so was the goofy "plot"! Although it was released a couple months after the Code came into effect it certainly was made with a Pre-Code mentality -- ending at a nudist colony? I don't now what I liked better, the knights in armor dancing or the colors in the beach scene. It was insanely wonderful.

Best wishes,

HouseT said...

Someone might want to keep an eye on that lamb. I don't know if there's such a thing as Mad Lamb Disease, but it would have to be a candidate for it.

Fletch said...

While I appreciate your kind words about me, and your disclaimer about the nature of your editorial, I must make a correction and a comment.

First, the correction: I thought Stacie was much more than gracious - she took no swipe at said detractor (if I'm missing it, please inform me) and, as she said, was welcomed to his unconstructive criticism prior to even "accepting" her award. Your comment of "stay classy, Stacie" is out of place with that being the case. She was pretty gracious if you ask me. If you want to direct ire at anyone, direct it at me, as I was quick to respond, and not nearly as nice (though I think I still maintained dignity).

Now, the comment: I think dissenting opinions are not only necessary but welcome. But I also think that there's a) a time and a place for everything and b) a proper way to do such things. His was neither in my eyes. What he did felt akin to Brad Pitt yelling out "You suck!" as Sean Penn walked up to collect his Oscar.

Even if he hated her site, it felt like a slap in the face to me.

Ivan G. Shreve, Jr. said...

Stacie: "From the sour grapes voiced when the nominees were listed to the bitching right now..."

Fletch, you and I probably differ on the interpretation of my use of the word "swipe," but I personally feel that she would have been far more gracious if she had just refused to acknowledge his presence. I don't have to tell you the old Internet adage: "Don't feed the trolls."

Clearly the gentleman in question was nowhere near the definition of gracious, but I'm still chuckling over the irony of someone offering an dissenting opinion and the response of film bloggers (with emphasis on critics and reviewers) in piling on. "Slap in the face" it may be, but you sort of have to get used to that kind of thing if you're planning on plunging into the waters of film criticism -- it's a cold cruel sea, ladies and gents...and to paraphrase Woody Allen: "It's fish doesn't return other fish's phone calls."

Sorry we're not going to be able to get together on this one, pardner. I still stand by my observation on the work you do -- it's not easy, and I think many people benefit from your tireless efforts.

Fletch said...

Fair enough - what I took from her as a statement of fact, you took as something a bit more severe. Your points about trolls and critics/reviewers are valid, but the latter would be more so if he had actually, you know, offered criticism. I guess that leads back to point 1. ;)