Archive for July, 2010

A Poutpourri of Stuff including Sharktopus and Debbie Gibson vs Tiffany

Posted in blogging, movies with tags , on July 29, 2010 by Paxton

I don’t have a formal article for this week because a) I’m prepping for Billy the Kid Week starting August 9 and b) I’m lazy as hell.  So, here are some quick things for you guys.

First, I finally got off my butt and snagged the cavalcadeofawesome.net domain.  I’ve been thinking about it for a while but I thought I had all the domains I could hold in my package.  Apparently, my domain package includes three domains, not two.  So, along with paxholley.net and paxtonholley.net, I’ve now acquired cavalcadeofawesome.net.  If you already have my feed, you shouldn’t need to change anything, but it’s nice that http://cavalcadeofawesome.net will now bring you here.  At least I think it’s neat.


What. The. Hell. Is. This?! Check out the trailer above for Syfy’s new movie, Sharktopus! The first time I watched it I had to wonder if it was a real movie.  Then I saw Eric Roberts and I knew it had to be real.  And awesome! And crazy as sh*t!


Speaking of bad monster movies, this is a clip from Mega Python vs Gatoroid. WTF is a gatoroid you ask? I have no idea. An android gator is my best guest. However, that’s irrelevant because apparently this movie features a huge cat fight between Debbie (Deborah) Gibson and Tiffany. It’s pretty awesome, see it in the clip above. I love this more than words.

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10 Ridiculous and awesome vintage movie posters

Posted in advertising, movies, pop culture with tags , , on July 21, 2010 by Paxton

The movie poster can either be the best thing or the worst thing about a movie. If the movie studios are careful, they can sell the movie on poster alone. What usually happens though is the studios want to put the most recognizable faces on the poster and what we end up with is a horribly composed Photoshop creation of like 3-5 faces over some action scene in the movie. Utter crapola.

However, sometimes movie studios get a wild hair and create some ridiculous movie poster that has to be seen to be believed. The actual movie couldn’t possibly live up to the greatness of the poster, but you want to see the movie to find out.

Here are some of those posters.  You can click any of the images to see them BIGGER.

Ape
Ape (1976) – Giant gorilla + Giant shark + Giant snake = F**king AWESOME.  Obviously this movie was trying to cash in on the ’70s remake of King Kong with Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange (note the Not to be Confused With… disclaimer), but I don’t remember that Kong fighting a shark. Or stepping on and crushing a cruise ship while strangling a giant snake.  Maybe that’s why the King Kong remake sucked.  Replace Jessica Lange with a giant shark and you would have me at hello.

Too Late for Tears(Via Lost Video Archive)
Too Late for Tears (1949) – “WHERE’S MY DINNER?!” *SMACK* “WHY ARE YOU CRYING?!” *SMACK* “I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOUR TEARS!” *SMACK* Wow. Just…wow.

Champion of Death(Via Wrong Side of the Art)
Champion of Death (1975) – Okay, you have a movie starring the awesome Sonny Chiba called Champion of Death. What goes on the poster?  Chiba karate chopping a giant bull right between the eyes.  Wha-?!  This movie was also called Karate Bullfighter, which is pretty awesome and brings some much needed sense into the poster design, however, when you know that this movie is about a famous sensei who founded a popular style of Japanese karate and has nothing to do with bullfighting, we are right back into Crazytown.

Devil's Partner(Via Wrong Side of the Art)
The Devil’s Partner (1961) -It’s always fun to speculate what these movies are about based on the poster.  Here you have a naked chick riding a centaur (!) through a cemetery while being watched by an invisible devil.  Yeah, I don’t really care what the movie is about, I just want to see that insanity and have it wash over me like warm sunshine.

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The Cavalcade is awarded a Versatile Blogger Award

Posted in blogging on July 13, 2010 by Paxton

Well, I was going back and forth about even posting an article this week.  After last week’s big crossover with Branded in the ’80s, I was a bit winded and I wanted a break. Okay, yeah, that was only one article last week but it was such a bad ass article that am having trouble finding a suitably awesome article to back it up.

Plus, I’m going back home to Birmingham, AL this weekend with my wife for a baby shower so preparations for that have been ongoing this week (as well as trying to fit in a screening of Predators with my friend, Dr Mike, before I go).

Then, Strange Kids Club, one of my new blogging friends (and a Cavalcade approved blog) passed along a very cool award, the Versatile Blogger Award.

I like that. I like to consider myself a versatile blogger. This blog works in much the same way as the thoughts in my head. In any given post you could see me talk about movies, comic books, TV shows, toys or cool, geeky technology. I try to keep things broad because that’s what keeps me interested. I realize if I make this blog a little more specialized I might get more traffic.  However I’m interested in a lot of different things. This blog, as you know, is a kaleidoscope of awesome-ality (where do I come up with this stuff?).  So I promise to try to keep things fresh around here.

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Discovering Unofficial Movie Trilogies

Posted in 80s, movies, pop culture with tags , on July 7, 2010 by Paxton

I was talking with Shawn Robare of Branded in the ’80s over Twitter a while ago (click here to follow him) and he came up with a great movie game:  unofficial movie trilogies.  The idea was to name three movies that weren’t sequels or remakes of each other, but had some type of over-arching connection through subject matter or archetype.  Shawn originally focused his trilogies on ’80s movies, but I started ignoring his “rules” and opened it up to include ’70s – 2000s.  However, after doing this, I noticed the majority of our answers did in fact come from the ’80s and ’90s.

So, we tweeted back and forth different lists of movies we grouped together in these “unofficial trilogies”.  Just looking at the movie titles you couldn’t tell what they may have in common, but when you look deeper, the connection becomes apparent.  It reminded me of that board game, Tribond.

Tribond game

In TriBond, for those that don’t know, you are given three seemingly unrelated things and you have to name what they have in common.  For instance, on the box above, you have pie, Earth and bread.  How are those three things related?  The answer, they all have a crust.  See?  How about another one; Florida, door, piano.  What do they have in common?  Give up?  It’s keys.  They all have keys.  Clever right?  Well, that was Shawn’s idea, relate three previously unrelated movies. So we went back and forth giving our answers and we came up with some good ones.  I thought I’d share them with you guys and let you in on the fun.

As a special treat, Shawn has agreed to write a companion piece over on Branded in the 80s.  I’ll be discussing my list of movie trilogies here at the Cavalcade (you are reading it now) and Shawn will discuss his list of movie trilogies over on Branded.  It was fun to do this with Shawn and I think you guys are going to like it.  Let’s get started.

Animal House Up The Creek Van Wilder
Tim Matheson “Eric Stratton” trilogy – In 1978 Tim Matheson played Eric Stratton in Animal House.  It was a classic role that pretty much jump started his career.  Don’t get me wrong, Tim was in a crap-ton of stuff before Animal House, but Eric Stratton would pretty much define his career.  Not surprisingly, Tim would play a similar irreverent jokester character, Bob McGraw, in the 1984 college romp, Up the Creek.  I couldn’t find a trailer, but here’s a funny 5 minute clip from the movie. Then, to cap off the hat trick, Tim would play Van Wilder’s dad in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, thereby coming full circle as Animal House was also by National Lampoon and in the movie Van’s dad is inferred to also be a former partier.  As an adendum, Tim would play a famous college alum in American Pie: Book of Love (2009).  He would appear in a scene with other actors who portrayed famous high school/college characters like Dustin Diamond (Saved by the Bell), C Thomas Howell (Red Dawn, My Secret Admirer), Christopher Knight (Brady Bunch) and Robert Romanus (Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

Bull Durham For Love of the Game Upside of Anger
Kevin Costner “Crash Davis” trilogy – In 1988 Kevin Costner made Bull Durham and introduced the world to “Crash” Davis, catcher extraordinaire and mentor to “Nuke” LaLoosh.  It was a career defining role and one many consider to be his best.  In 1999 Costner would return to the baseball diamond in For Love of the Game.  Costner played a pitcher, Billy Chapel, about to pitch the last game of his career.  Then, in 2005, Costner played retired baseball player, Denny Davies in Upside of Anger.  While Billy Chapel wasn’t as irreverent and funny as Crash, Denny Davies was every bit as irreverent and funny as Crash.  I’m surprised they didn’t just name him Denny Davis and maybe have one mention of his nickname being Crash or something.  The roles are really that similar.  I was close to putting Tin Cup in this group mainly because that character is essentially “Bull Durham on a golf course”, but I like the idea of three baseball movies.

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A review of the Back to the Future trilogy on its 25th birthday plus Blu-Ray news

Posted in 80s, Back to the Future, movies, pop culture with tags , , , , on July 3, 2010 by Paxton

Time Travel

Back to the Future opened 25 years ago today on July 3, 1985.

BTTF Starts Today

I can’t believe it’s been 25 years.  I saw Back to the Future during the Summer of 1985.  If it wasn’t opening day, it was very close.  My dad took me right after school to go see it.  I loved it.  That summer I saw it at least 8 or 9 more times in the theater.  I was able to do that because during the summer of 1985 our local radio station I-95 had a promotional movie night on Mondays where it was $1.95 to see a movie and soda and popcorn were $.99 each.  We went nearly every week.  And every time I saw Back to the Future again.  It was the spectacle of this movie that instilled in me a deep love for movies and watching them in the theater.  Back to the Future was really the first movie I consciously wanted to go see more than once while it was at the theater.  I’ve been a movie whore ever since and I’ve owned this movie and its sequels in nearly every home video format since.  I had the VHS, Laser Disc, DVD and I will soon have the Blu-Ray.

Speaking of Blu-Ray, before I get to the reviews, it was announced this week that the Back to the Future trilogy would be released on Blu-Ray on October 26, 2010.  Here’s the box art from DVDActive.com (click the image to see the whole article).


(Via DVDActive.com)

I love that cover. The extras are voluminous, too. It says it contains a new 6 part documentary, but previous releases had 3 part documentaries (which the article mentions are included as archival footage). So they filmed another “making of” documentary? Why?  These documentaries tend to be repetitive because there’s not much else to say about the making of these movies 25 years later. That juice has been squeezed. I’m more interested to know if the Back to the Future The Ride footage will be included.  Or the scenes filmed with Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly.  These are the things that have been missing from the last few releases of the trilogy.  Regardless I’m looking forward to see the new High Def transfer.

Now on to the movie reviews.

Back to the Future
Back to the Future (1985) – Similar to when I watched the Karate Kid right before the remake opened, I am charged up after watching Back to the Future for the first time in a few years.  Like Karate Kid, it is a nearly perfect film.  Every scene is entertaining and all of the actors bring their A game.  Michael J Fox is great as Marty McFly and Christopher Lloyd is also great as Doc.  This is good because the entire movie only plays if Doc and Marty have chemistry, and they do…in spades.  The entire movie is extremely entertaining and is edited to a very brisk pace from scene to scene.  It seems like almost every line early in the movie pays off at some point in the end.  I mean, this script is tight.  I found myself saying all my favorite lines along with the actors while watching the movie.  “What’re you lookin’ at, Butt Head.  Say ‘Hi’ to your mom for me.”  “A portable television studio.  No wonder your President has to be an actor, he has to look good on television.”  “Who in the hell is John F Kennedy?!”  It’s so much fun!  And the gag at the end with the flying Delorean is just as great as you remember, “Roads?  Where we’re going we don’t need…roads.”  I have the first DVD release of the trilogy which, I didn’t realize, does not have the To Be Continued… title card at the end of the first movie.  I know it was not a part of the original theatrical release of the movie, but it was a little disappointing not to see it.  It’ll be interesting to see if it’s on the Blu-Ray release.  So, I can happily say I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.  It’s a fun family romp that’s endlessly entertaining, never boring and just loads of fun to watch.  Let’s hope Hollywood doesn’t decide they need to remake it.  Because then I may have to activate Operation Burn Hollywood to the F’n Ground.  No one wants that.

Back to the Future Part II
Back to the Future Part II (1989) – Part II has fans divided.  Many actually hate it.  I admit, when I first saw it in the theater, I was a tad disappointed.  It hadbeen 5 years since the original came out and my enthusiasm had bubbled up to an unattainable level.  I enjoyed the movie but not as much as I’d hoped.  Some of it was the fact that the movie’s tone was a bit darker.  A lot of exposition and action was crammed into this movie.  The heroes traversed three separate time periods.  It was dizzying.  However, after years of watching this movie, it has slowly made it up into the second spot on my Back to the Future favorite list.  Watching Part II again for this anniversary, it only confirmed that I did really enjoy the movie.  The hover board chase in 2015, the alternate 1985-A and revisiting the first movie from a different point of view all make for a truly entertaining movie.  Plus, in my last few viewings of the trilogy, I’ve come to be really impressed with Tom Wilson’s performances as the different incarnations of Biff.  He is really funny, goofy and terrifying as the ever present bully.  He’s become a stand up comedian, and a pretty funny one at that.  Check out his Question Song on YouTube.  It’s hilarious. One gripe about this movie, it’s almost a bit too long. The stuff at Marty’s house in 2015 where Michael J Fox plays like 4 characters, that could have been cut in half. It’s not my favorite part of the movie and seemed more gimmicky and not necessary than the rest of the movie. I also don’t like how all of a sudden Marty hates being called a chicken. Where the hell did that come from? I realize it drives the whole “crash into the Rolls Royce” subplot but it’s off putting. Other than that, pretty much everything in 2015 (except the “old Marty” stuff) and most of the stuff in 1955 is great. I still really enjoy this movie. Quick trivia, in 2015, when Marty plays the Wild Gunman video game in front of two kids, one of those kids is Elijah Wood. I didn’t realize it until this very screening.

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Empire magazine celebrates issue 250 and Back to the Future’s birthday

Posted in Back to the Future, movies, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by Paxton

Time Travel

Back in April, British magazine, Empire, celebrated it’s 250th issue.  At the same time they also celebrated Back to the Future’s 25th Anniversary.  For that month’s issue they had a Back to the Future themed cover on newsstands.  Here is their 250th issue.

Empire 250

They also had an exclusive subscriber cover. It featured the more traditional Struzan artwork from the poster.

Empire 250 subscriber only

Inside was a nice interview with Bob Gale and Steven Spielberg about making the film. Not much new information was gained by the interview, they mainly treaded the same ground as all the other documentaries and interviews they’ve given over the years. They talked about the genesis of the idea for the movie (Gale wondering if he would have been friends with his dad in high school) and Spielberg talked a bit about the troubles in getting Michael J Fox into the Marty McFly role (Fox was the original choice but couldn’t get out of Family Ties obligations).  Even the pictures were mostly retreads from the souvenir magazine and the Official Book of the Complete Trilogy.

It was a nice nostalgic article, though, that also featured “Viewing Guides” for all three movies with trivia items to watch for.

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