Saturday, December 17, 2005

TV REVIEW: Medium: "Being Mrs. O'Leary's Cow"

I'm still catching up on the first season of the NBC paranormal hit, Medium. So forgive me for blogging reruns! Anyway, "Being Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" aired originally on April 25, 2005, before the repeat aired this December 12th.

This episode finds Allison Dubois (Arquette) experiencing night terrors about a deadly plane crash. One of the imperiled passengers she dreams about is Threshold's Robert Patrick Benedict. Fortunately, no bio-altering signals are involved...

Anyway, Allison is drawn into the case of a missing woman in Phoenix. The victim's worried husband is Captain Call (Chad Lowe), a highly-skilled airline pilot...and he is the very pilot Allison saw in her dream; the one man who can pull the imperiled jet out of a dizzying descent and keep it from pulping Cleveland. When an investigation points to Call as a man who killed his own wife and buried her in the desert, Allison seeks Joe's help in asking a variation of an important question: "do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one?"

In other words, should Allison let Captain Call off the hook - thus betraying his dead wife - so that he may fly that otherwise doomed plane and save two hundred lives? Or is Allison's responsibility purely to the victim? Should she see that Call is arrested, even though if he is incarcerated, he can't fly that endangered air liner?

It's a fascinating tale of precognition, and another really fine episode of Medium. I'm getting hooked on this show, in part because each episode takes unexpected turns, and asks unique questions. I noted last week how much of this series takes place in Allison's bed during the wee hours of the morning...and I like that. There's a very intimate feel between Allison and husband, Joe (Matt Crower), and I appreciate that so much of the program involves their relationship, and they way they deal with familial responsibilities.

In terms of the horror genre, the "doomed" airliner is genre convention going way back to The Twilight Zone and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet." Since then, the same plot device has been utilized on shows such as The Sixth Sense's "Coffin, Coffin in the Sky" (1972), Freddy's Nightmares' "Cabin Fever" (1989), The Burning Zone's "Night Flight," Poltergeist The Legacy's "Let Sleeping Demons Lie" (1997), Millennium's "The Innocents" (1998), G vs. E's "Airplane" (1999), The Others' "Souls on Board" (2000) and this season's Supernatural entry, "Phantom Traveler."

Medium's "airplane" story distinguishes itself primarily through its climactic ambiguity. I enjoyed the fact that Call didn't end up flying the plane, and that the plane didn't crash, either. Neither possibility emerged, and Joe felt like he'd given Allison some good advice. "See, the plane didn't crash," he told his wife. "This year," Allison replied, hinting that her dream might still come true at another date. That's chilling!

Although it's not in the class of Veronica Mars (TV's best show; hands down...), I'm continuing to really enjoy Medium, and hope you're watching too.

SATURDAY MORNING CULT TV BLOGGING: Space Academy: "The Cheat"

Another crisis on the 1977 Saturday morning live-action, Filmation TV series Space Academy this week. Seems that an "energy distributor" on asteroid BX3 is leaking and could poison space for three parsecs, including an inhabited space colony.

But on the Academy, the cadets are embroiled in a crisis. Captain Chris Gentry has ordered Cadet Matt Prentis (John Berwick) called up on charges because he showed "flagrant disregard for procedure" on their last mission. Commander Gampu settles the crisis by suspending the hearing on the matter, and putting Matt Prentis, a laser technician, in charge of the mission to seal the malfunctioning energy distributor.

The mission proves dangerous, and Matt orders the Seeker through an ion storm and - again - Chris reacts negatively to Matt's irresponsibility. But when Matt is injured during his attempt to seal the energy distributor, Chris takes over and saves the day, using the Seeker's bulldozer-like arms to push a small asteroid into the energy distributor, thereby creating a new "artificial" sun to provide energy to this part of the galaxy.

"The Cheat" is essentially the same story as the previous installment of Space Academy, "Life Begins at 300." A pushy non-regular learns a valuable lesson about working with "the team" after initially being a hothead. This episode distinguishes itself primarily because Matt asks Laura out on a date(!), and also because the episode features a hysterical slow-motion interlude wherein Tee Gar Soom uses his karate skills to break down a jammed engine room door on a Seeker. Bruce Lee would have been proud...

I do think that Space Academy missed a bet on teaching a good lesson to kids with stories like "The Cheat." In both this and the previous installment, our heroes were proven to be correct in their convictions all along, and it was the dangerous interloper who had to learn a lesson. All the good guys really had to do was express "forgiveness" for the trespassers. Wouldn't it have been nice had Chris or Gampu or one of "our" team been proven wrong in "The Cheat" instead? And Matt - the guest star - been proven correct? Sometimes, a good lesson for kids to learn is that it's okay to be wrong; and to be the one asking for forgiveness. Right? It seems that Chris reacts negatively to Matt's position of authority...maybe he was just threatened all the way along by someone as capable as he was...and again, that's something that kids should learn about: feelings of competition and jealousy and how to deal with them.

But maybe I'm asking too much from my 1970s kid-vid these days...

Friday, December 16, 2005

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK 21: Hallmark Star Trek & Star Wars Christmas Ornaments

If you check this blog often, you've seen my extensive (and seemingly unending...) toy and collectible collection, and you know that I'm one lucky guy. Lucky, cuz I ain't actually rich, but I have a lot of folks in my life who love me and keep buying me these wonderful gifts.

I thought it would be appropriate this week, given the upcoming holidays, to focus on a school of collectible that I haven't spent a single dime on: Star Trek and Star Wars collectible Christmas Tree Ornaments! That's right, I own a vast collection of these items, but it's all landed in my home office through the auspices of my wonderful parents and in-laws. Every year, come hell or high water, I receive a new sci-fi ornament. Feels good to be loved, doesn't it?

My collection began in 1992, when my mother-in-law (who lives in Richmond) bought me the first Star Trek ornament (price tag: $20.00) I'd ever seen, a representation of NCC-1701, Captain Kirk's starship Enterprise (and still my favorite version of the classic heavy cruiser). This ornament was a hot-ticket item that holiday season (along with Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers toys) , and I didn't expect to get one. There was even a waiting list. But lo and behold, come Christmas morning...I owned a starship! My mother-in-law still threatens to take it back occasionally, especially when I say she coulda' been a Jersey Girl instead of a Southern Belle...

Last time I checked, these ornaments go for hundreds of dollars...not that I'm in the collecting biz' for the money. It's just nice to know that if I lose a lot of money on the horses, I can hock an ornament. Just kidding. I'm not a gambler...

Anyway, the next year, my sister, who lives in New Jersey, purchased me the follow-up Hallmark "keepsake" ornament from Star Trek (which sold for $24.00), The Galileo 7 shuttlecraft. This ornament is great not only because the front windows light up, but because if you press a button on the bottom, Mr. Spock wishes you a happy holiday season. How very illogical - but sweet - of the dour half-Vulcan!

This was 1993, I guess, and from there, my own mother was forever on the case of Star Trek and Star Wars ornaments, and I have not been left in need once since. Over the years, she and my Dad have given me Next Gen, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, Phantom Menace, and classic Star Wars ornaments for Christmas. Often, they miraculously unveil ones I've never even seen before, like the Romulan fighter from Star Trek: Nemesis.

Last year, when my house was on the historic home tour in our town, I even put up a special Star Trek Christmas tree for all to behold, and it was quite amazing.

I also "beamed down" the Captain Kirk ornament into my wife's proudly displayed Nativity Scene. There Kirk was, right next to the Three Wise Men, sitting in his command chair. Sacrilegious? Naah! We all know that I worship William Shatner, right? Freedom of religion, and all...

This year, my mother-in-law sent me another great Hallmark ornament in the mail, the 2005 Star Trek edition. The model? Ricardo Montalban's Khan! I hadn't seen this anywhere, and didn't even realize that the Star Trek license is still viable.

But now I can add Khan Noonien Singh to the Nativity scene and have my Captain Kirk ornament shout "Khaaaaaan!"

"Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven," Khan can reply...

That's an odd Christmas thought, I suppose, but I just want to thank all my family members for, over the years, keeping me fully-stocked on these things. I appreciate the love, support, and the toys.

So what about you, do you collect any sci-fi ornaments for that special outer space Christmas tree?

KONG BLOGGING: The Films of Fay Wray by Roy Kinnard and Tony Crnkovich

As part of my week-long Kong fest, I've been enhancing my film book library on the subject of the cinematic great ape. On Wednesday, I reviewed Ray Morton's colorful, vibrant history of the Kong character, but there's also another "giant" personality attached to the Kong "myth," and I wanted to post about her here, today. In part because I've always had a crush on her, since the first Thanksgiving when I watched King Kong (1933) on New York TV.

The late Fay Wray (1907-2004) was the first "beauty" to meet the giant "beast" of Skull Island. And what a beauty this talented actress was, both in terms of her gorgeous good looks, and in terms of personality. Authors Roy Kinnard and Tony Crnkovich have just written a highly-detailed, thoroughly-researched book about this iconic talent, The Films of Fay Wray (McFarland and Company Inc., Publishers; $39.95)

The purpose of this scholarly text is not just to celebrate the career of Kong's first love, but to excavate Wray's other work, which Kong fans may not know so well. The authors set out the facts about Ms. Wray's career succinctly in the introduction: only five of her seventy-seven movie roles from 1925 to 1958 were in the horror genre; and in sixty-seven of those efforts, she was the leading lady.

"The extent of Wray's career," the authors write, "as documented in this book, may come as a surprise to many. A likeable, dependable and competent actress, she has been directed by talents as diverse as William A. Wellman, Maurtiz Stiller, Erich Von Stroheim, Alan Crosland, Frank Capra, Michael Curtiz, Jack Conway, Karl Freund, Roy William Neil and Josef von Sternberg. Her leading men have included Gary Cooper, Emil Jannings, William Powell, Richard Arlen, Jack Holt, Spencer Tracy, Ralph Bellamy, Frederic March, Wallace Beery, Joel McCrea, Claude Rains, and Richard Barthelmess."

In other words, Ms. Wray was much more than unlucky Ann Darrow, Kong's lady love. The book goes into great detail to describe (often with the late Ms. Wray's input...) a remarkably successful acting career in Hollywood...but one ultimately overshadowed by Skull Island's most well-known denizen. The book is filled with interesting revelations about the making of that 1933 classic, including Wray's concern that there was too much screaming in the film. She calls the screaming "overdone," which is interesting, since she became known as the greatest screamer (or Scream Queen) in Hollywood, at least until the dawn of Jamie Lee Curtis.

There's a really interesting comment on the times that this book makes plain through its illustrations: Fay Wray showed much more skin in the 1933 King Kong than Naomi Watts does in the 2005 version. Yes, we indeed live in conservative times. Drats!

Anyway, on pages 93 to 96 of this text, there are some beautiful black and white cheescake photos of Ms. Wray in very revealing "jungle wear," that helps, in no small way, to explain why so many young men grew up with Wray as a first love. In addition to her talent, she was one fine-looking, athletic sex symbol. But we do live in restrictive, PC times now and so in the new Kong (which I love, as you can tell from my review...) much of the sexual angle of the story has been deleted. I miss that. I'll never forget those shots from 1933 wherein Kong takes Wray up to his lair, and peels off her clothing a piece at a time and then smells his fingers...very animalistic, very sexual, and apparently too much for our censorious times.

I enjoyed reading The Films of Fay Wray, and learning much more about this accomplished actress. The book is separated into 3 parts: Silent Films, Sound Films and 1950s Feature Film Supporting Roles, and two appendices describe appearances in theatrical shorts and TV guest spots. If you've ever had a desire to learn more about Kong's first love, this is no doubt the book to own.

You can order The Films of Fay Wray at McFarland's web site, or through their order line, 800-253-2187.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

KONG BLOGGING: King Kong (2005)

Despite my love for the original King Kong (1933) -- as well as the 1976 remake introducing Jessica Lange -- Peter Jackson's two hundred million dollar update, which opened in theaters yesterday, wasn't necessarily an easy sale for me.

Why? Well, on the first count, I'm not one of those people who thinks the same movie needs to be re-imagined and re-made for every generation just because special effects have improved. Let alone a film already once re-made.

And I also think there's something very healthy about the idea of today's 15 and 16 year olds seeking out a film from 1933 or 1976, and becoming acquainted with what movies looked like in those eras. Cinema history is more than Napoleon Dynamite (which I love...) Wedding Crashers and Shrek. One of the greatest movie "awakenings" in my life occurred when my father began introducing me to the movies he loved from the 1960s, titles like The Great Escape, Cool Hand Luke, Hud, Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate and the like. I was about sixteen when we did this together. I shudder to think how I would be different today had I - as a teen in the 1980s - not been exposed to such works. Today's teenagers, weaned on CGI and the Hollywood blockbuster mentality, could do with a little history lesson.

Secondly, and more importantly, I was one of those apparently few-in-number movie-lovers who didn't drink the Peter Jackson kool-aid after the last installment of Lord of the Rings; Return of the King. I greatly admired Jackson's first film in that trilogy, Fellowship of the Ring, but found both The Two Towers and Return of the King somewhat overlong, lugubrious, and laboriously paced. Let's face it, you could just watch Fellowship and Return and skip The Two Towers all together, and still get a pretty good sense of the Rings story without missing anything vital. The second film just kills time....for over three hours. I realize, this is heresy I'm writing to some people...

And yes, I am quite aware that Jackson and Return of the King took home a near-gaggle of Academy Award statuettes, but that fact doesn't change my estimation of these films. The latter two installments of the saga bored the pants off me. And believe me, you don't want me sitting around reviewing movies without my pants...

One quality a good filmmaker requires is discipline. Yep, discipline. The original King Kong was a taut and lean 90 minutes from start-to-finish. When I heard that Jackson's King Kong was going to run over three hours (three hours and seven minutes, I believe...) I really began to grow concerned. I remembered how the ending(s) of Return of the King rambled and rambled. And I wondered if Jackson weren't just a director badly in need of a close associate who would tell him that he hadn't just shit a golden egg, that his work, too, could use the experienced hand of a fine editor.

So, as I wrote above, I was not necessarily sold on the Kong remake, despite my love of the property over the years.

But now, having seen the film on opening day, I can state unequivocally and for the record that these amazing three hours move very quickly and enjoyably. Director Jackson knows exactly what he's doing, and this is a better film than any he's yet made. King Kong is an incredible silver screen spectacle - a monster movie epic on a scale heretofore unimagined, even by genre enthusiasts like myself.

Like I said, I was inclined to be wary, but came out of the film filled with awe, excitement and wonder. This movie is everything you imagine it could be; and much more. The special effects are, for the most part, quite fantastic, and the elements that have made Kong work so well as a story over the years have been augmented, nay improved. The end result is a film that makes more sense, and tugs more powerfully at the heart than either Kong predecessor.

This is Jurassic Park on steroids. And more.

Although I like all incarnations of Kong, if I'm being totally honest, I guess I've always felt a tiny disconnect with one element of the tale. Each film before this one - each in its own way - has wanted audiences to sympathize with Kong, with the Beast who "is as one dead" because of his love for a blond beauty. That element comes to the foreground most successfully in this version.

The dinosaur attacks on Skull Island in Jackson's version are so ramped up, so-over-the-top, so much the last word in edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger action, that you can't catch a breath. You'll squirm and gasp throughout these exhilarating moments. Kong and Ann swing from vines, fall from a precipice, fight off a pack of tyrannosaur and emerge triumphant, and so something is clear in this story in a way it's never been before in Kong history. These characters have bonded. An experience like this permits nothing else. They've been through the wringer together, and Ann has come to need Kong to survive on Skull Island, so it is natural that she would, after a fashion, fall for the big hairy guy.

This is really one of the best things about the movie. For the first time, you believe that a gorgeous blond actress could fall head over heels in love with a 25-foot tall gorilla. It's perfectly understandable; even rational, given the (admittedly peculiar) circumstances.

It's odd to write about a giant gorilla as a "character," but this version of Kong is far more developed too. He is a battle-scarred warrior, perhaps a little over-the-hill, even. He is the last of his kind, as you can see from his cave high over the island, where the bones of his ancestors and family lay scattered. And the natives in this film are terrible, psychotic people, so one senses that Kong has made his loneliness their worst nightmare. They live in mortal fear of their "God," and again, no version of the film has brought that idea home better than Jackson's. When you see the terrors of Skull Island this time around, you'll understand exactly how and why a giant gorilla might long for the company of a Vaudeville entertainer to take his mind off certain things. Like giant vampire bats. Or roving T-Rex packs.

And because the Ann Darrow/King Kong relationship makes more sense in this version, the last third of the film (set in 1933 Manhattan...) is far more effective. Again, this may sound absurd based on the fact I'm writing about a giant simian here, but the film works in the same rarified dimension as Romeo & Juliet or any other tale of star-crossed lovers. Ann isn't just "sorry" for Kong because she has sympathy for an innocent animal, she actually loves him, based on their experiences together. All her life, the script informs us, the people she loves have left her; leaving her vulnerable. Kong is the one creature always there for her; always fighting to protect her.

After the dinosaur stampedes (an amazing sequence), the spider pit (which will make you really uncomfortable...) and the film's other horrors, I figured it was impossible for Jackson to surpass his already considerable efforts for the climax. But he does just that . The portion of the film set in Manhattan, particularly atop the Empire State Building is utterly enthralling. You will feel awe (at the depiction of NYC during that time...), vertigo (at the dizzying heights), and anxiety (even though, of course, you know how it's all going to end.) This is an amazing climax to an amazing roller-coaster of a film, topped by a denouement for the ages. Does this sound like mindless praise? Well, just remember, as I enumerated above, I went in a skeptic. I wasn't inclined just to give the movie a pass because I love the character of Kong.

King Kong is a great Beauty & The Beast story, a tragic tale of a "brute's" love, and how it is ultimately used against him. I don't think the metaphor for male/female relationships has ever been better put in a monster movie. A lefthanded compliment, perhaps, but this is the most emotional and also the most satisfying Kong. It's also an unsurpassed thrill ride. The dinosaur stampede will knock your socks off, and the Empire State Building sequence will rip your heart out.

You can tell that every frame of this film is a labor of love.

But don't take my word for it, go see it. It's more fun than a barrel of...well, you know.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

KONG BLOGGING: Ray Morton's KING KONG: THE HISTORY OF A MOVIE ICON, FROM FAY WRAY TO PETER JACKSON

My inner-fan-boy is euphoric.

Last week, UPS delivered my copy of Ray Morton's King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon From Fay Wray to Peter Jackson (Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 2005).

One week later, I still haven't stopped drooling...

I review lots of books here and at NCFlix. I also write lots of film books. But I have to tell you straight up - no b.s. here - this volume has just vaulted to the top of my favorites in the film-book category.

Firstly, it is a gorgeous book, perhaps the most beautiful one Applause has yet produced (and it has been responsible for some truly lovely ones, including Singing a New Tune...), but more than that, it's now one of the most beautifully presented film books of all time. I would rank it right up there, alongside The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh (a great, out-of-print text about the films of George Romero).

Anyway, King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon is a lavish, coffee-table-worthy edition with nearly 200 unbelievable photographs. These photos are reproduced and arranged beautifully throughout the book, and illuminate every aspect of King Kong's long history, from toys and collectibles to conceptual art, to promotional art, to never-before-seen behind-the-scenes candids. No cheap-y black-and-whites here! A lot of this stuff is featured in living, vibrant color.

The lay-out of the book is just perfect too, with the outer-left and outer-right margins on each spread reserved for smaller illustrations, aside from the text (where there are even more photos interspersed...) Want to see special effects storyboards for the 1976 King Kong? Check! Want to see poster art and news clippings? Check. Want to see Kong toys or gifts (like a King Kong candy bar?) it's all here in the kind of glorious detail that is usually reserved only for the biggest films (like Star Wars) and only at a very high price.

Finally, here is a book worthy of the King's good name...

When I was seven years old, my parents understood my fascination with all-things Kong and bought me Jeremy Pascall's The King Kong Story (Chartwell Books, 1977). I have held onto that book - from New Jersey to Virginia to North Carolina - for nearly thirty years. Now, finally, I own a Kong history that surpasses that slim (but nice) work in every way imaginable. Morton's book is thus an essential one for the Kong historian and fan, and a text you'll be proud, nay thrilled, to own.

Author Ray Morton hits exactly the right notes in his history of the Eighth Wonder of the World. He is an appreciative fan, but more importantly, an expressive, enthusiastic writer whose love for the subject (and careful research) shines through on every single page. His tone is perfect, and as a fan of the 1976 Kong, I can't express in writing how much I appreciate the fact that he didn't just diss the movie outright as an inferior remake. The 1970s Kong is a "valid" work of art in its own right, capturing the Zeitgeist of the disco decade, and Morton doesn't play the role of elitist, praising only the old Kong at the expense of the new. Instead, it's clear he loves all incarnations of this movie monster (or is Kong actually a movie hero?)

Everything you could possibly want to know about Kong, you will find in this book. From the making of the 1933 classic to its spin-offs, Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young. There's a chapter on Kong's trip to Japan (for King Kong vs. Godzilla and King Kong Escapes) and detailed text on the really bad (sorry!) King Kong Lives (1986) as well as other recent ventures, including the Mighty Joe Young remake of a few years back. Morton's research is extensive, and he's interviewed everyone from Jeff Bridges to Rick Baker to Lorenzo Semple, Jr. So don't fear that this is just a regurgitation of things you already know; a tremendous amount of original, first-person research went into the preparation of this book.

Because of my love for Kong, and because of this volume's beauty, Ray Morton really had me at "hello" (or more accurately, as soon as I eyed that colorful cover art and felt the heft of this 348 page tome.) But then, the more that I read, the more that I became involved with his developing narrative. I hope the author will consider it the ultimate compliment when I state that he successfuly awakened my inner child; my young, innocent love for Kong and for monster movies in general. That's no mean feat, considering I write film books for a living. For the first time in a very long time, I was able to put all that experience aside and just enjoy a non-fiction movie book on its own terms.

I think my heart practically beat out of my chest when I reached the chapter on collectibles and turned to page 310. There, in a glorious, large photograph, is the cover of the Whitman Giant Classic King Kong adaptation (price: $1.00). I read this comic book religiously as a child. Probably over a hundred times. My parents bought it for me at a Ben Franklin store in Wisconsin, I think it was, when we were on a six week cross-country camping trip, back in the summer of 1979. That's a memory I hadn't excavated in a long time, but this book brought it back. And more. (There's even a photo of the King Kong viewmaster set, which I also owned when I was little...).

If you love King Kong, you'll love this book. That's about as plain as I can make it. I can't believe Applause is selling it for only $19.95. For a book with this quality text and the sheer number of gorgeous illustrations, I would have paid five times that...so reserve your copy now, because with Peter Jackson's version spawning new interest in the property, this is sure to go through its print run faster than King Kong can pound that hairy chest...

To order Morton's book through Applause, go to their web site here. The book is also topping the rankings at Amazon (and holding on to a 5 star rating!), and you can order King Kong: The History of a Movie Icon there as well.

King Kong is HERE!

King Kong opens today, and I'm just about as excited as a fan boy can be. I grew up with the 1976 film -- so I love that version dearly (and you can read my spirited defense of it, here.) But I also love the 1933 classic, one of the greatest masterpieces in a hundred years of cinema. I have done interviews with literally hundreds of talents in Hollywood in my writing career, and I can tell you with certainty, more people pursued the vocation of filmmaking because of their love of King Kong than just about any other film in history.

Enough of that, though. Let's celebrate today as King Kong Day! Some of the reviews are in, so I wanted to excerpt 'em below:

My favorite Internet critic is MaryAnn Johanson, the flick filosopher. She writes that Peter's Jackson interpretation of the material is:

"truly brilliant, beyond the amazing dinosaur battles and disgusting giant bugs and the monkey on the Empire State Building and all - It's about the primal force that is entertainment, how it speaks to us and moves and connects us when it's real."

Roger Ebert awards the film four stars noting that it is "magnificent entertainment." He also calls the new Kong "one of the great modern epics" and "one of the year's best films."

A dissenting voice comes from the Charlotte Observer's Lawrence Toppman. His review is titled "Great Ape, Fumbled Movie." He writes that Jackson's Kong is "a labor of love that's visually stunning and moving in its best moments," but also that it's "bloated, shallow, clunky, full of illogical scenes and at least an hour too long."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

King Kong is Coming!!!!

Just a day now until Peter Jackson's King Kong opens big, in thousands of theaters.

I'll be celebrating the day tomorrow right here on the blog with a few Kong "centric" posts.

I remember going to see the John Guillermin/Dino De Laurentiis Kong (which I loved...) back in the Christmas season of 1976, almost thirty years ago (I guess I was just turning seven...)

Most of the advanced reviews for the new Kong have been pretty good, and I'm a sucker for monster movies, so my enthuasiasm level is pretty high.

Get ready for the Eighth Wonder of the World!

TUESDAY CATNAP # 22: The Dinner Bell




Nothing focuses a cat's (or three cats'...) attention so much as ringing the dinner bell. Feeding time!

A picture (or three pictures) is worth a thousand words...

Cult Sci-Fi Wisdom of the Week; Pain Edition

"Dammit, Bones - you're a doctor. You know pain and guilt can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us; the things that make us who we are. We lose them...we lose ourselves! I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain."
-Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

"Leave me with my pain, it reminds me I'm human."
-Commander John Koenig, Space:1999, "Guardian of Piri"