Archive for February, 2011

That other charity song that’s not We Are The World turns 20 years old today

Posted in music, nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , on February 28, 2011 by Paxton

Voices that Care Maxi-Single

The song, Voices that Care, written and sung in support of the troops participating in Desert Storm (as well as the Red Cross) turns 20 years old today. The single was released on Feb 28, 1991. The song was performed by a “super group” of celebrity entertainers in much the same fashion as USA for Africa and Band-Aid.

The recording of the single and the presentation of the video to the troops was filmed and presented in a TV Special that aired on Fox the same day the single was released.

Here’s the Voices that Care music video:

Participants in this “super group” included TWO members of New Edition (Ralph Tresvant and Bobby Brown), Garth Brooks, Celine Dion, Will Smith, Kenny G (yes, that Kenny G), Amy Grant, Michael Bolton, Luther Vandross, The Pointer Sisters and Peter Cetera.  And like We Are the World, there were scores of random celebrities singing in the choir in the background like Alyssa Milano, Jon Lovitz, Clyde Drexler (?), Chevy Chase, Jimmy Buffett, Nell Carter, Alan Thicke (?), Orel Hershiser (?), Brian Bosworth (?), Mike Tyson (?!), Don King (?!), Lando Calrissian, Capt Kirk, The Fonz, Gary Busey, etc, etc.  And check out much younger versions of Meryl Streep, Kevin Costner Kurt Russell and Michelle Pfeiffer (actually she looks exactly the same 20 years later).  The video, like it’s predecessors, is a time capsule of Hollywood circa 1991.

I’m not going to lie.  I owned the Cassingle of this song.  And I liked it.  Actually, I still like it.  It’s as cheesy as you would expect a song like this to be.  Maybe even more chessy.  Like, super hero cheesy.  Everyone does the “hold one headphone to your head and sing into the microphone” bit you see in We are the World.  You also get a lot of anguished looks to the side of the camera during singing.  Michael Bolton is all Michael Bolton-y.  It helps add to the mood and it gets me…right here *points at heart*.  Oh, and Nelson showed up.  I’m not entirely sure they were invited, but they showed up anyway.

By the way, after you watch the video, in case you were wondering, the balding guy in the Elton John glasses at the very end of the song, the one you have no idea who that is…he’s the guy that sang the original demo that went out to all the celebrities.  I always thought that was cool they gave him the last solo lines of the song.

And to sing us out, here’s Kids Incorporated with their version of Voices That Care:


Awesomeness Elsewhere Jan 25, 2011

Posted in blogging with tags on February 25, 2011 by Paxton

NBA Jam flyer

Some of my other stuff:

– This week was “Video Game Movie” week on Held Over. I looked at vintage movie ads for War Games, The Wizard, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

– On Tuesday I discussed all the new movie releases on DVD/Blu-Ray for the week including the Auburn National Champs DVD as well as Alien vs Ninja, Weeds Season 5 and the 523rd season of Survivor.

– In this week’s Forgotten Favorites I remember one of the last great arcade game franchises, NBA Jam.

14 vintage ads for video games based on movies

Posted in Activision, advertising, Atari, Back to the Future, Batman, movies, Star Wars, video games with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by Paxton

Cavalcade Arcade

I love movies. I love video games. So, obviously, I love video games based on movies. Well, I love the idea of video games based on movies. And this type of corporate synergy has been going on for years. Ever since the enormous popularity of the Atari 2600, both video game companies and Hollywood have tried to capitalize on popular movie brands to boost sales. And it makes for awesome pop culture ephemera.

So here are 14 awesomely vintage ads for video games based on popular movie franchises.

Atari 2600 ET
ET (Atari 2600 – 1982) – This is it. The game that felled the house of Atari. Yes, I owned this game and hated every second I played it. I know a lot of people now retroactively say they enjoyed it, but I HATED it.  You can only fall into an empty pit so many times before you throw the controller through the TV screen.  Surprisingly, this game was designed by the same guy that did Yars’ Revenge, the highest selling original Atari game (and one of my all time favorites).  Talk about Jekyll and Hyde.  Seanbaby rated ET #1 on his list of 20 worst video games OF ALL TIME.

Atari 2600 Raiders
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Atari 2600 – 1982) – Around the same time ET was released, Atari also released this game based on the first Indiana Jones movie.  And it’s starring YOU!

NES Total Recall
Total Recall (NES – 1990) – Video game based on the popular Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Total Recall.  Seanbaby rated this game #15 on his list of 20 worst video games OF ALL TIME.

NES Bill and Ted
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure (NES – 1991) – Bill & Ted.  It is amazing this movie was as popular as it was.  I mean, the movie spawned a sequel, a cereal, a cartoon show and a live action show at Universal Studios.  And Keanu is even talking about making another one.  Most excellent.  I never played this game but I loved the first movie.

NES Rambo
Rambo (NES – 1988) – A side scrolling shoot ’em up adventure game that very closely resembled the Zelda sequel, The Adventures of Link.

Atari Star Wars Arcade(via oldmanwinters)
Star Wars Arcade (Atari – 1983) – The original vector based Star Wars game by Atari was extremely popular with fans.  So, of course Atari was going to port it to their home consoles.  Here’s an ad for the Atari port of the Star Wars arcade game for the 2600 and 5200.

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Awesome comic book movie trailers for X-men, Thor and Capt America

Posted in comic books, movies, Star Wars with tags , , , , on February 17, 2011 by Paxton

There have been several awesome trailers released recently for Marvel comic book properties.  I feel like I would be remiss if I didn’t post them.

Along with some comments, if you please.

X-Men: First Class – I loved the first two X-Men movies by Bryan Singer in 2000 and 2003 (Wow, it took 3 years to get X2? I didn’t remember that). I was underwhelmed by X3. It wasn’t awful, it just wasn’t GREAT, either. And the more I watch X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the less I like it as a whole.  So, to be perfectly honest, I was not on board with this movie. This trailer changes that.  It looks BAD ASS. I know you can cut a trailer to hide a sh*tty movie (looking at you, Legion), but this looks AWESOME. I’m confused though, I thought I saw Nightcrawler in this trailer and if this movie is following the chronology of the existing movies, we shouldn’t see him until X2.  Whatever, I’m officially interested and a bit excited for this movie.

Captain America: The First Avenger – I was all in on this movie when Chris Evans was announced.  I even stayed on board when they said it was going to be a period piece during WWII (I don’t traditionally like war movies).  And this trailer alleviates all my concerns.  It looks fantastic.  I can’t wait to see more footage of Hugo Weaving as Red Skull.  At the very least, this has to be better than the 1990 Capt America movie with Matt Salinger.  Right?

Thor – I felt about this movie the way I felt about X-Men: First Class…underwhelmed.  I just didn’t think Thor translated very well to a movie.  I thought it may look silly with the costumes and Asgard.  I mean, you all did see Thor show up in the Hulk TV movie, right?  SILLY.  However, based on this trailer, I was wrong.  Chris Hemsworth totally looks the part of Thor and I now can’t wait to see this.

I have to admit, I doubted Marvel Studios for a second there.  Despite the fact that their track record since Iron Man has been better than average, I was worried they were straying from their formula.  I need not have worried.

Okay, this isn’t a Marvel trailer, but someone took the audio from the above X-Men: First Class trailer and cut a spectacular Star Wars saga trailer to go with it.  I mean, it’s fantastic.  Check it out.

Silence of the Lambs was released 20 years ago today

Posted in movies, pop culture with tags , , on February 14, 2011 by Paxton

Silence of the Lambs
(Via MovieGoods)

Silence of the Lambs was released on Feb 14, 1991, which makes it 20 years old today.  Here are some things you probably never knew about the movie.

The Silence of the Lambs book is a sequel to the book Red Dragon.  Red Dragon was originally adapted as a movie in 1986 with Brian Cox (left) portraying Hannibal Lecter.

Brian Cox as Lecter Anthony Hopkins as Lecter

Because Manhunter was a flop, producer Dino De Laurentis passed on making Silence of the Lambs and gave away the rights to make the sequel for free to Orion Pictures.

The skulls on the Death’s Head moths in the movie are not natural markings.  The moths were given coverings with the skull marking.

Despite being released in February (traditionally considered a dead zone for Oscar contention), Silence garnered a sweep of the major Oscar award categories including Actor, Actress, Director, Picture and Adapted Screenplay.  It is one of only three films to accomplish this sweep (the others are It Happened One Night (1934) and One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest (1975)).

The rights to the book were originally bought by Gene Hackman in order to star.  Hackman decided not to do the movie after doing Mississippi Burning because he didn’t want to do another violent movie.

Here’s a newspaper ad for a Sneak Preview of Silence of the Lambs on February 1, 1991 (via Held Over!)

Silence of the Lambs