Sunday, January 30, 2011

DVD Review: Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment


Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment

(Released September 28, 2010 by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Another Looong DVD Review by Joe Torcivia


“BANNED FROM TV!”

So reads a “banner” across the packaging of “Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment”, the front cover design of which is intended to parody the film “Pulp Fiction”.

Flipping it over to the back, we find more promotional hyperbole:

The most outrageous episode ever conceived!” (Um, please note that last word!)

The jokes stretch from here to maternity in the hilariously offensive FAMILY GUY episode you couldn’t see on television! Now legal to own (but just barely), “Partial Terms of Endearmentis a freakin’ poignant tale of what happens when Lois agrees – against Peter’s wishes – to become a surrogate mother for an infertile couple. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry… it’s your choice! (Again, I’d assume emphasis on that last word!)

I’m not certain if ANYTHING could live up to that sort of hype, but this IS a controversial episode – even for FAMILY GUY – that eventually focuses on society’s debate over abortion, using the microcosm of the Griffin household.

Further, I can understand the parent company of both the FOX television network, and especially FOX News Channel, deciding not to air this episode. But, thanks to DVD and other alternative media, there is enough money to be made for Newscorp that the episode was greenlighted – and allowed to be produced to COMPLETION – with the knowledge (at least according to the commentary) that it would not be broadcast on FOX.

Creator/Producer Seth MacFarlane and writer Danny Smith take the attitude that this was the sort of “groundbreaking episode” that would have been done on ALL IN THE FAMILY or MAUDE. Indeed, if memory serves, Maude had television’s first abortion.

I won’t spoil very much but, when the “infertile couple” is killed in an auto accident, the debate rages on over whether or not Lois should terminate the pregnancy. Of course, said debate is taken to typical FAMILY GUY extremes.

Peter is all for termination, employing strategies from the subdued (“subdued” for PETER that is – “Lois, bet I can DRINK MORE BLEACH than you!”) to the absurd. Peter sets a “ROAD RUNNER” type of trap for Lois (using an “Acme Miscarriage Kit”), luring her to a WB / Chuck Jones-style desertscape with a string of “FREE GREY’S ANATOMY DVDs”, to the inevitable “target drawn in the sand”. This sequence is absolutely priceless for any fan of classic animation!

Then, Peter is completely turned (…like THAT’s so hard to do!) by an anti-abortion activist (voiced STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION’S Wil Wheaton), and vows to protect the fetus at all cost!

Admittedly, this is a great episode of FAMILY GUY… but I don’t think it’s nearly worth the fuss made over it. Though it DID get me to buy a “single-episode DVD”, so – MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

As is our custom in these reviews, we’ll break it into CONS and PROS.


The CONS:

Robo-Promos:
“Robo-Promos” is my term for advertisements that play automatically before you even reach the initial menu. They are unavoidably inflicted upon the viewer before “getting on with the show”, prompting me to add this new category to my CONS list. In this case, they are tolerable as they consist of promos for THE CLEVELAND SHOW, FAMILY GUY, and AMERICAN DAD DVDs, respectively. After all, if you buy this DVD, you probably like the “Seth MacFarlane Family of Shows”. And, if not, you can “zip” through them if you wish.

The Set Itself: The mere fact that this MUST be a special, stand-alone edition, rather than be included as an “Extra Feature” on a regular FAMILY GUY collection. But, we’ve gone over the reasons why – and I can accept them, as opposed to having the episode nixed altogether. However, said reasons do not explain why each of the FAMILY GUY “Star Wars Tribute Episodes” (There will be THREE of them by the end of 2010) are ALSO sold as stand-alones – rather than exist as part of their respective season collections.


The PROS:

It’s “Banned from TV” and We Get To See It:
Roll back and read “The Set Itself” CON Entry and give it a positive spin! At least MacFarlane was permitted to make this episode, and we get to enjoy it… albeit at a premium.

The Talent: The voice cast of FAMILY GUY is one of the best in contemporary animation, and many of them will be deservedly showcased in one or more of the “Extra Features”.

Extra Features:

Commentary:
Participants in the episode commentary are: Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Danny Smith, and director Joseph Lee. While they DO go into all the reasons this particular episode stands apart, too much of the commentary seems unfocused for an episode with such a circuitous path to our home screens. Why discuss Sandra Bullock and tell stories about their cats, when we’ve paid a premium for the package? Give this commentary about 1/3 a CON.

Animatic: Often, I’ll skip the animatics on FAMILY GUY or SIMPSONS DVD sets. They are interesting, in that you see the animation in “rough form”, and can appreciate how it takes shape. But, personally leaning more toward WRITING than DRAWING, I certainly don’t watch every one that the various sets present.

THIS ONE, however, you MUST watch, because it is radically different from the finished product – and is done to full voice tracks! There are many different gags both added and cut as the episode took shape. It’s almost like watching a “different but similar” show.

Family Guy Live and Uncensored Table Read: Actually, a live performance, at a theatre with an orchestra and an audience. It is hosted by Seth MacFarlane and features Alex Borstein (Lois), Mila Kunis (Meg), John Viner, Danny Smith, Christine Lakin, and Alex Sulkin. The cast sits before a live audience and performs “Partial Terms of Endearment”, reading from copies of the script.

At intervals, on the DVD presentation of this performance, the actual animation is “cut-in” and placed in corners of the screen. This gives the DVD audience a unique opportunity to see the actors’ performances, while simultaneously viewing the finished animation – nicely in synch.

Love him or hate him, Seth MacFarlane is quite an entertainer – both “behind” his animated characters, and in front of an audience. It’s amazing to see him performing live and effortlessly shift his voice over a large number of starring and supporting characters: Peter, Brian, Stewie, Dr. Hartman, Quagmire, Tom Tucker, and more.

I daresay, only Mel Blanc and Daws Butler carried such heavy loads, regularly and for long periods! …And I’m not at all certain that they didn’t record ONE character to completion – and then do another!

Oh, and MacFarlane breaks up during the performance of the “ROAD RUNNER” bit, the vast majority of which is simply the “description of it” READ directly from the script.

Family Guy Presents Seth and Alex’s Almost Live Comedy Show:

Seth MacFarlane and Alex Borstein (voice of Lois and others) in their own FOX half-hour comedy sketch special! Is there ANYTHING he can’t do?! Yes, I watched this when it aired, and its presence here (no matter how gratuitous it may seem) helps to mitigate the sting of what is a one-episode DVD – that sells for the price of something more substantial!

There are also nine downloadable “Original Family Guy Songs”.

Overall:

No matter how you (um…) slice it, “Family Guy: Partial Terms of Endearment” leaves the impression of being a quickie / cash-in item. And, it IS! But, the episode itself is very much worth seeing – especially for fans and regular viewers of the show. And, they DO load it up with “Extras” – not just “Extras”, but WORTHWHILE “Extras” – so that you still feel good for having purchased it.

Recommended: Especially for FAMILY GUY fans!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

DVD Review: The Enemy Below (1957)

The Enemy Below (1957)

(Released: 2004 by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)


A DVD Review – and an unexpected addition – by Joe Torcivia

Dick Powell directed this grand WW II confrontation between a American destroyer and a German submarine that starred Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens as the respective commanders and “foes without faces”, who finally meet at the climactic finale.

Mitchum’s “Captain Murrell” and Jurgens’ “Von Stollberg” are the worthiest of adversaries, and the game of “cat and mouse” between the U.S.S. Haynes and the German U-Boat is the stuff of cinematic magic!

There’s no end to misery and destruction”, observes Mitchum’s destroyer captain.

You cut off the head of a snake, and it grows another one. You cut that one off, and you find another. You can’t kill it because it’s something within ourselves. You can call it ‘The Enemy’, if you want to, but it’s part of us. We’re all men!”

And so the U-Boat attacks, and the destroyer evades. The destroyer attacks, and the U-Boat evades. Strategy is countered with strategy, and twists and turns lead to more twists and turns. That is, until a most memorable climax of the fiery hulk of the Haynes ramming the U-Boat, dooming them both. The survivors head “who-knows-where” to fight again, with Murrell and Von Stollberg achieving the expected (…and, frankly, DESERVED) mutual respect.

In achieving this classic, Powell brought a host of notable talents with him… as the credits reveal:

Music by: Leigh Harline.
Conducted by Lionel Newman.
Set Decorations: Walter M. Scott.
Makeup: Ben Nye, SMA.
Special Photographic Effects: L.B.Abbott, ASC.

Oh, yes… rounding out the cast was an actor named “Al Hedison”, as Lt. Ware. Fans of a certain classic 1960s television sci-fi series might better know him as David Hedison”.

If any of those names seem familiar, we’ll get back to them.

Rounding Out the DVD:

We’ll dispense with the usual “PROS and CONS” this time, as this set is just right for what it is. It does not aspire to be anything more than the basic presentation of the film as seen on the “big screen” in 1957 – with just enough of a sprinkling of Extra Features.

FOX presents this grand widescreen adventure in Cinemascope. And does it ever look great on when upconverted by a Blu-ray player to an HD TV. There’s just something I like about the widescreen presentations of the ‘50s era, now that I can view them properly. Even the cartoons, like the handful of Cinemascope Donald Duck, Tom and Jerry, and Droopys, look great!

Special Features:

The original theatrical trailer, hosted by Dick Powell.

FOX Movietone Newsreel footage of WW II vintage, hosted by Lowell Thomas.

A commentary track would have been very welcome, especially in view of what I’m about to discuss. The lack of such would be the only “CON” to report.

An Odd But Notable Thing About the Film:

What’s familiar about the “notable talent” names I noted above? It is that all of them “ported over” to the television side of 20th Century Fox in the decade that followed. And, while they were of great benefit to a variety of 1960s FOX television series, perhaps the greatest concentration of their work was on the Irwin Allen science fiction series – VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (1964-1968), LOST IN SPACE (1965-1968), THE TIME TUNNEL (1966-1967), and LAND OF THE GIANTS (1968-1970).

Lionel Newman supervised the music scoring of all four series, utilizing original works from John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Alexander Courage, Leith Stevens, Lennie Hayton, Herman Stein, Robert Drasnin, Gerald Fried, Harry Geller, and others. Slipping in FOX-owned scores by the likes of the great Bernard Herrmann and others when needed.

Leigh Harline’s score for “The Enemy Below” was often heard in VOYAGE and TIME TUNNEL, and his main theme for this picture doubled as a heralding for alien royalty on LOST IN SPACE in “His Majesty Smith” (1966) and “Cave of the Wizards” (1967).

Walter M. Scott and Ben Nye (respectively) provided Set Decoration and Makeup for all four series.

The great L.B.Abbott – along with Howard Lydecker – was the SFX wizard behind all the explosions, sparks, fires, quakes, tidal waves, and the various space and sea craft featured in these series.

And, Al (David) Hedison starred in VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA as Captain Lee Crane.

We may never know if David Hedison’s recollections of – or experiences acting in – “The Enemy Below” factored into this unusual move, or not, but much of the film’s destroyer and U-boat special effects footage – not to mention its music score – was “repurposed” to create the VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA television episode “Killers of the Deep” (Original air date: January 02, 1966).

The second season of Voyage was BIG in visual scope. Bigger, in fact, than anything previously made for the small screen. Production values for this season were generally on a par with cinematic predecessors such as “The Enemy Below”.

So much so that, when actual effects footage of the U.S.S. Haynes, the German sub, depth charges, towering explosions of water, and the like were inserted into “Killers of the Deep”, it looked par for the course. I’m no expert on sea craft and weaponry, but this footage, shot to conjure up imagery of WW II, looked “at home” enough in VOYAGE’s tale of the Cold War era.

This wasn’t the first time VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA augmented its SFX library by incorporating feature film footage into the mix. Producer Allen’s earlier films “The Lost World” and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (the film that begat the TV series) were lifted whole cloth to form the episodes “Turn Back the Clock” (1964) and “The Sky’s on Fire” (1966).

But, it was more unusual for Allen to raid a film not his own – and to spin a completely original tale of Cold War intrigue, from one of World War II strategy and conflict. Given this, the lack of a DVD commentary track for “The Enemy Below” – which may have elaborated on this topic – is especially lamented.

It is to the great credit of Dick Powell and the crew he assembled in the late 1950s, that such a film was produced – and became a success for what amounted to two almost distinctly different audiences.

Killers of the Deep” can be found on the DVD collection VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA Season Two, Volume Two. Watch the film and the TV episode back-to-back for a unique and one-of-a-kind entertainment experience.

The Enemy Below is highly recommended for fans of World War II drama – and 1960s era Sci-Fi / Adventure. Not too many films can duplicate THAT feat!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Season Well-Done!

Okay, we’ve had our fun with Bugs Bunny gags and such…

Now, it’s time to really congratulate the New York Jets on a second consecutive trip to the AFC Conference Championship game – just one step short of a Super Bowl appearance.


A rookie head coach… a rookie quarterback… and a defender so great he’s got his own island! And a great overall team thrilled us last year… and did it again this year!



Thank you Rex Ryan, Mark Shanchez, Darrelle Revis and the whole Jets team for two years of exciting NFL Football!

...Now, it’s REALLY back to comics and DVDs!

On the Subject of BUGS BUNNY Football Covers…


Well, the Jets are halfway to becoming the “Buffalo Bills of the AFC Championship Game”… you know, like how the Bills lost FOUR STRAIGHT Super Bowls!

Maybe WITCHCRAFT is the answer for Rex Ryan…

…Or, maybe it’s just (all together now) showing up for the first half!

B-U-G-S! …Bugs! …Jets! …Bugs!


This BUGS BUNNY cover (Issue # 114, November, 1967) reminds me of the just-ended New York Jets season.

It’s GREEN… and the AIR is going (has gone) out of it!

And, admit it… Wouldn’t you love to hear Elmer Fudd address Rex Ryan by name!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(Steel) Curtains for Jets!


The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Jets’ run to the Super Bowl 24-19!

The Jets didn’t show up for the first half, but once they woke up for the second half, they made a competitive game of it.

24 unanswered Steelers’ points followed by 19 unanswered Jets’ points. Nice comeback, but no way to win such a big game.

Better luck to Rex Ryan and the guys next year!

…And, back to DVDs and comics for us!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ryan’s Express Rolls Thru New England! Jets 28 Pats 21.

Rex Ryan’s New York Jets moved one step closer to the Super Bowl with a 28-21 road victory over arch rival the New England Patriots!

The Jets played a great game all around, with standout performances by quarterback Mark Sanchez, backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene, receivers Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Jerricho Cotchery, -- and the entire defensive team!

The defense was particularly effective in forcing fumbles, turnovers, and keeping constant pressure on Pats quarterback Tom Brady! Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie neutralized Brady’s receivers.

Now, it’s on to the AFC Championship game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Reviewing my Blog posts for the last seven days, it’s been quite a happy week for me, severe snowstorms notwithstanding! Here’s to 2011! You’re off to a great start!

Review of Donald Duck and Friends # 362


At THIS LINK, read a review of Donald Duck and Friends # 362

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On Sale Today: DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS # 362!


Wanna put the whack on winter storms? Go directly to your favorite comic book shop and pick up a copy of DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS # 362, brought to you by the fine folks at BOOM Kids!
It may not melt the snow, but it WILL give you a warm feeling inside!
And that warm feeling will come from reading my English language script to “Return of the Titan of Tae-Kwon-Duk”, the sequel to Donald’s earlier non-dream-sequence foray into the world of martial arts – called (as if you didn’t know) The Titan of Tae-Kwon-Duk” from DDaF # 360. WARNING: Warm Feelings may or may not result from reading this comic-book story. Your results may vary.
WARM YOUR HEART to the nephews’ devotion to their Unca Donald, as he stubbornly works to recapture the glories of two issues past!

STRUGGLE with Donald as he trains perilously close to an open third floor window!

EXPERIENCE THE HORROR of a Duck who is suddenly without a past! (...Despite 361 previous issues!)
GET NERVOUS as Don falls in with some really bad dudes – one of which has a really bad moustache!

RAGE along with the “real” bad guy, whose position Donald has usurped!

THRILL to his daring escape from prison!

RECOIL IN HORROR at said bad guy’s reaction to the color mauve!

STAND BACK as our two Tae-Kwon-Duk-ing Ducks confront each other!
-




WONDER why Joe is expressing this in the melodramatic terms of old Hollywood movie trailers!

And the best part is… You can see the FIRST FIVE PAGES for yourself, at THIS LINK!

There’s also a great story by Janet Gilbert that will make you glad comic books can’t interface with your olfactory senses.

So, stop reading this, and start reading DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS # 362!

Tell ‘em Handlebars McTwirlsneer sent you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

IT’S HERE!


Now, this great classic sci-fi series is COMPLETE on DVD!

And DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS # 362 will be here tomorrow!

Unfortunately, there will be a BIG SNOWSTORM in between!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets! Wild Card Winners!

Coach Rex Ryan finally got the “Peyton Manning monkey” off his back with a literal last minute 17-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez was average to poor for the first 59 minutes of the game – but excelled in the FINAL MINUTE when it counted most! Aided by a great kick return by Antonio Cromartie – and an even greater leaping reception by Braylon Edwards – Sanchez drove his team down the field with less than 60 seconds left, to allow Nick Folk to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.

It’s “GO TIME” to the next playoff round!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

These Are a Few of My Fav-o-rite Things… And They’re On Sale Next Week!


VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: Season Four Volume Two at last completes this sixties sci-fi classic! With half-season volumes, the DVD run actually took LONGER to complete than the broadcast run: FIVE YEARS for DVD vs. FOUR television seasons, but we come to the end of the er, “voyage”, and I couldn’t be happier to own high-quality versions of every episode of one of my most favorite TV series of all time!

VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA: Season Four Volume Two is on sale Tuesday, January 11, from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. More information at THIS LINK.



DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS # 362 features “Return of the Titan of Tae-Quon-Duk”, the sequel to # 360’s (guess what) The Titan of Tae-Quon-Duk”.


As with the original, I’ve supplied the dialogue script – better known, these days, as “translation” – and I hope you all enjoy it. There’s another great story by Janet Gilbert in the issue as well!

You can actually see a few of the finished pages of “Return of the Titan of Tae-Quon-Duk” at THIS LINK!

DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS # 362 is on sale Wednesday, January 12, from the good folks at Boom Kids!

Gosh, after ALL THIS, the rest of the week’ll probably be a let down! :-)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

DVD Review: They Drive By Night (1940)


They Drive By Night (1940)

(Released: 2003 by Warner Home Video)


Another long (...but not looong) DVD Review by Joe Torcivia

We’re tougher then any truck that came off any assembly line!”

George Raft and Humphrey Bogart “hit the road” (sometimes literally) to back that claim in “They Drive By Night”. As Joe and Paul Fabrini, they do their best to negotiate the competitive (and sometimes deadly) existence of the “wildcat trucker” in an era still scarred by the Great Depression. Ann Sheridan and Ida Lupino bring both pleasure and complications along for the ride. And Alan Hale Sr. (“The Skipper’s” father) rounds out the cast as the genial murder victim. …Gotta have one of those, I reckon.

Humphrey Bogart is still a supporting player in this film, while George Raft is the true headliner. Indeed, Bogie almost vanishes about halfway through the picture, when he loses an arm in a trucking accident, leaving Raft, Sheridan, and Lupino to… um, “carry the load” – trucking pun intended.

After this, Bogart and Lupino would move on to “High Sierra(SEE THAT REVIEW HERE) and bigger, better things.

“They Drive By Night” gives us entry into a world that is now almost as remote as that of the range-riding cowboy. Battling, brawling truckers – all in competition to make that elusive hauling buck and outrun both the finance company and the law when necessary, with equipment sporting canvas covers, big fenders, radiator caps, running boards, and the like! But with the more timeless elements of romance and murder thrown in to keep things… um, “rolling”.

As is our custom in these reviews, we’ll break it into CONS and PROS.

The CONS:

Not much in the way of “CONs” to list.

There is NO COMMENTARY TRACK to accompany “They Drive By Night”! Such features on other Bogart films have proved to be of great interest, and so the lack of one here is unfortunate. Bogart biographer Eric Lax is involved with the included documentary feature, but this not being a true a “Bogart film” he might not have been tapped for a commentary. Still, Lax or another film historian could have provided some valuable insight into the film and its times.


The PROS:

The Film: The story begins as a “Tale of Two Truckers” and… um, “shifts” into a crime drama. Both approaches work well.

The cast is first rate, and the print quality is fine for a 70-year-old film.

Extra Features:

Theatrical Trailer for “They Drive By Night

By now, you all know how much I love theatrical trailers of this vintage! Especially when foot-high hyperbole like THIS explodes across the screen:

“DANGEROUS CURVES AHEAD!”

“THE HIGH-GEAR SAGA OF RECKLESS MEN – WHO FIND ROMANCE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD!”

And, in keeping with our series of “trucker-puns”…

“IT’S THE ENTERTAINMENT ‘PICK-UP’ OF THE YEAR!”

This trailer is oddly notable for the LACK of participation by “The Voice of Warner Bros.” Robert C. Bruce, who seemed to be a WB trailer mainstay. Actually, there was no promotional narration at all, the only audio being music and clips from the film.


“Divided Highway: The Story of They Drive By Night” (Runs 10:36).

An informative “Making Of” documentary. This feature somewhat (but not completely) mitigates the lack of a true commentary track.

The film is described as “An immediate hit with the public and critics alike, and it marked a watershed moment in the careers of both Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino. Yet, as good as it was, 'They Drive By Night' seems to fall between the cracks of film history”. I’d have to agree with that assessment.

They Drive By Night” is also described as: “…two entirely separate films”. Agreed, once again. The trucker film and the murder case film. So seamlessly done, though, that you don’t really notice the “trucker portion” has passed until you are firmly and squarely into the “murder portion”.

Also, that director Raoul Walsh shot the film ENTIRELY IN SEQUENCE (no cutting or jumping around from scene to scene) over a period of five weeks!

Participants include: Film historians: Leonard Maltin and Robert Osborne, and Bogart biographer Eric Lax.

Finally, the oddest extra feature of all:

“Swingtime in the Movies” (1938)

I had NO IDEA what to make of this “comedy/musical short subject” starring FRITZ FELD (!), the short, German-accented fellow best known for his “trademark gesture” of smacking his open-palmed hand over his “rounded lips” to produce a POPPING SOUND that darn near everyone can emulate if they care to try – and familiar to audiences from the sixties and well beyond for his frequent appearances as the officious “Zumdish” on LOST IN SPACE.

Our story consists of Feld’s attempts to direct a musical western for Warner Bros. Yes, really! Disappointingly, Fritz Feld never once makes “The Popping Sound”. Perhaps, this occurred before he developed that now-famous shtick. The short runs for a length of 19:09.

Given the 1938 date, vs. the 1940 date for “They Drive By Night”, there is no evidence that this short ever played on the same bill with the Raft/Bogart/Lupino feature. Yet, its inclusion here would seem to indicate some association between the two.

The Three Stooges excepted, this entire area of filmmaking has receded into a huge historic mystery and something – if only a screen of explanatory text – should have accompanied the presentation of this short. Still, I’m very glad to have seen this oddity.

Overall:

They Drive By Night” may indeed have “…fallen through the cracks of film history”, but it IS a GOOD film, and worth seeing at least once for a solid story, a great cast, and our last look at the “pre-stardom” version of Humphrey Bogart.

The DVD Extra Features are more than worthwhile, with the Fritz Feld short really putting the package over the top!

It is recommended for Humphrey Bogart fans despite his less-than-meaty role, enthusiasts of the period and its particular brand of crime story, and anyone who likes great big old trucks – especially those that careen out of control and off of cliffs!

If anyone wants to contribute a good “trucker pun” to go out on, I’ll take suggestions!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ain’t He a Stinker! Welcome to 2011!


We begin 2011, with Bugs Bunny’s opening to 1944! Back when he REALLY WAS a stinker.

We’ll try to ensure that this Blog is not a “stinker” in the coming year! Dinky little posts like this, notwithstanding!

We’ll have more substantive stuff soon! Churning out a Donald Duck comic book script right now, but we will resume our “regular programming” shortly! Stay tuned… or Blogged… or whatever it is Blog-readers do!