2020-08-02

Blue Steel!

Sad to report that Wilford Brimley has taken the final flight to the planet Antarea from Cocoon.


As recounted here, I met Mr. Brimley and we were seated near each other at a banquet. In between takes, he'd chat up the waitresses and used his line from Cocoon, "Blue Steel. A cat couldn't scratch it." We scammed one of the above flyers, I only wish I'd gotten it autographed.


I'm one of the hardhats at the 30 sec. mark who gets in a tussle until saved by Charles Bronson, and I'm at the congratulatory banquet at the 1:13 mark but good luck espying me.



I think I'll start watch a bit of 遊星からの物体X (The Thing) before I turn in.



RiP Wilford, you defender of Endor!

2020-07-27

I've Got a Nose For Value!

Sadly, I must report on the passing of Eddie Shack, the long time Maple Leaf (thanks for aiding in four Stanley Cups!) and spokesperson for Pop Shoppe pop.


As kids, we adored Pop Shoppe pop, I had an affinity for Black Cherry and Lime Rickey.





I met the Shack twice in the 80s-90s, the first time was at a bar in Brampton called O'Malley's (#1 old-school bar on that list). I was drinking with a handful of friends, possibly after playing Trivia at Tracks. It was a banner year birthday for Eddie so it was probably his 50th in February, 1987 and he stumbled in with a gaggle of buddies and sat at an adjoining table. My friends and I bought him a beer for his birthday and we spent an hour or so drinking with him. I remember this one line that he used on the waitress there. "Say, what's the age of the oldest guy who's ever harpooned ya?" Needless to say, he didn't go home with her.


I'd eaten a Donut or two at Eddie Shack Donuts in Guelph and reading his bio was surprised to learn that he got his juniors hockey start playing for the Guelph Biltmores in the mid-50s but I never bumped into him there. Mini edit. My friend Bob reminds me that we went to Eddie's Donuts in Caledon.



The next time was a decade or so later at the Grand Opening of a Nightclub of which he was co-owner with the father of a co-worker of mine. It turns out that her dad and Eddie go way back and I was surprised to learn that her dad also owned O'Malley's. Small world (#not so small)! I was introduced to Mr. Shack and he said, "I remember you from my birthday at O'Malley's!" I was blown away!! Too bad the nightclub didn't last, I can't even find any mention of it on Google. Hmm. It may have been called "EDDIES".

I must further lament the passing of John Saxon who I fondly remember from a ton of tv dramas and especially from Enter the Dragon, Black Christmas, and Battle Beyond the Stars. For photos of him, this provides a good variety.


Although I mainly know him from his numerous appearances on Letterman, other than that I don't know much about him other than snippets of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?


Oops, sorry that's Mino Monta his Japanese clone. Here he is in action.



Back to Regis, here is his final appearance on Letterman.



Dave tweeted this about him, "Regis is in the same category as Carson. Superlative. He was on our show a million times, always the best guest we ever had, charming, lovable and could take a punch. When he retired I lost interest in television. I love him."

RiP to three great legends!
EDIT: Make that four! Farewell Olivia de Havilland! I think I'll watch Robin Hood today.

2020-07-01

Joyeaux Jour du Canada!

The First of July and that means it's Canada Day, Eh! Time to show off my Mountie, who bobbles upon his trusty steed whenever an earthquake occurs.


I didn't do much celebrating though I did educate my students on how old Canada is. I waved a flag and wrote 2020-1867=? on the board and then had my Grade 3, 5 and 6 students answer it. I also needed to show America's age so they also subtracted 2020-1776=? as well. All of them needed to show their work to accomplish the subtraction except for two kids in one Grade 3 class who did the calculation in their heads! I then mimed Canada's age as an infant, America as a gibbering toddler and Japan as an old man. Most of the kids got it but once or twice the teacher had to help out. One kid asked how old China is and I said she's a great-great-grandmother.

I shared this video on my Canadians in Japan Facebook page and it garnered a few likes. It's a classic that we'd see as a short before movies decades ago.



I'd also like to express my sorrow and admiration for those who are struggling to remain distanced yet connected in Canada these days. An old pal from the University of Guelph composed and sang this song to combat the woe.



Lovely!

Since it is July 1st, time for a Calendar round up. Let's hope that Hulk can smash puny virus!


And that Darth likes his tie.


Finally, I'd like to express my sorrow for the passing of 98-year old Carl Reiner on June 29th.


Carl Reineroceros and his pal, Melephant Brooks both had cameos in Toy Story 4 last year.



Neither of them show up in that clip though they do put Jerry Seinfeld to shame when they guested on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

I suppose my first memory of Carl would be as Alan Brady on his creation, The Dick Van Dyke Show. Later I caught as many reruns as I could of Your Show of Shows when he played the straight man to Sid Caesar's yukster. The only movie of his that I own is one he directed, The Man with Two Brains. I won't have time to watch it tonight, so I'll view it tomorrow.



I dug through his filmography and noticed that he played Shazam's Wizard on a show called Justice League Action.


I caught his episode and notice this shoddy editing error.


Oh well, it isn't Carl's fault that they can't spell.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Reiner.

And Happy Canada Day!

2020-06-29

CommemoRAYtion.

Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the founder of DYNAMATION, Ray Harryhausen.


As a result, I've watched several movies over the weekend thanks to a Facebook Daikaiju Fanpage. (I think it's invite only so you'll have to seek it out yourself.) It was easier than breaking out my DVDs, Such as The Black Scorpion.

  

Doh! I just double checked, Ray had nothing to do with the above though his mentor Willis O'Brien did work on it. One movie I hope to watch later is The Animal World animated by both he and Ray. The ten minute sequence is an extra on it.

(Here's a snippet:)



Along with the above movie, it also included my favourite, The Valley of Gwangi. I've watched it recently so I gave it a bye. I will show you my Allosaurus/Tyrannosaurus mix that came with the set.



I just finished watching one documentary (this one) and hope to view this one later.



I watched bits of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, I need to re-view and review it.


My DVD set also included Them! No Harry in that movie but it did come with its very own ANT.



I broke out my Harryhausen sets just to be sure of which ones I have in order to maximize my viewing pleasure. Set I:



As you can see, the Cyclops was a bonus with this set.




I watched Eye of the Tiger but not the other two Sinbad flicks this time around. Let's take a moment to remember the adorable empathetic actress, Taryn Power, granddaughter of Tyrone Power, she passed away on June 26th, 2020.


It also includes a Murder Hornet of which I snapped a few pics.





Set II includes Jason and the Argonauts, I watched it recently as well.




I did watch Earth vs The Flying Saucers, one of the better UFO films it was homaged in Mars Attacks.


Now showing on the marathon is 20 Million Miles to Earth. I watched most of it yesterday and now I'm watching it on my phone as I type this.


Ymir, the Venusian, came with the set.


Set III includes The Three Worlds of Gulliver which I don't ever recall seeing before. I will definitely watch this later in the week because the Bernard Herrmann score is wonderful.





Next up is It Came from Beneath the Sea, a terrific movie with a catastrophic calamari. I watched it in the marathon. (Too lazy to break out the DVD.)


The third movie is Jules Verne's Mysterious Island with yet another excellent Herrmann score and not a Murder Hornet but rather a Killer Bee.



Hey, this set has a fourth movie, First Men in the Moon another movie I saw recently.


For some reason, the figure that came with this set is not from any of the above movies yet rather is Kali from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.


Here is Kali's fight scene.



Does this look familiar?



In the third box set, there was a postcard with which you could send away for several figures. Too bad I was only 18 years late to use it.


Fortunately, I managed to complete the set by buying the figures individually.


The Moon Cow from First Men in the Moon.


The sextopusRay couldn't afford to animate all eight limbs.



The Centaur from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.



Three out of six of the skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts:



I like how they all have their own distinctive shields.




Hey, I'm watching Ymir now!



A slightly different pose of the Cyclops.



A Flying Saucer and one of its inhabitants.



Talos also from Jason.



Ah man, according to that postcard, there's also an extra SECRET one, Kali. I never saw it. (Now the internet search begins...)

In the marathon, I also watched Mighty Joe Young for the first time in years. I need to find a copy of this. I also watched a movie I'd never seen before, The Strange World of Planet X  also known as Cosmic Monsters. (Meh.) Ray Harryhausen shows up in the credits, uncredited. Another movie I don't own but have seen several times is Clash of the Titans. Six years ago on this very day, I posted photos from the movie pamphlet.


I do have a copy of the other main feature that Ray worked on, One Million Years B.C., with the infamous poster from Shawshank Redemption. I recently watched this one as well.



I just happen to have some more figures from Columbia Heritage.


These two smaller ones include our old friend Ymir.


And another Skeleton.


And I have two from a set of larger ones.


 Including, you guessed it, Ymir on the operating table.


And a Harpy from Jason.


The marathon continues but I have to go to bed soon. There are several shorts included such as Guadacanal which I did watch.



I also saw Tulips Shall Grow which is pretty creepy.
(I'd like to go to Amsterdam.
Wooden shoe?)



There were a few shorts that I did not get a chance to see including The Story of Hansel and Gretel. But thanks to YouTube, I can watch it tomorrow.



Nor did I see The Story of Rapunzel.



Similarly, I didn't watch The Story of Little Red Riding Hood.



Thank you public domain...Now you can watch them too.

Happy Birthday, Ray Harryhausen! Hopefully I'll be able to fill in the gaps of my DVDs and figures before 101.

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