Friday, May 30, 2008
I'm proud to say that I have been a fan of The Three Stooges for a long, long time. Whenever anyone criticizes the Stooges, I'm always the first to stand up and defend their status as one of the most successful and influential slapstick comedy teams in the history of film. DVD fans know that there are tons of Stooges DVD collections out there; some are legit, some are not. The good news is that the Stooges are currently receiving a well-deserved digital re-do by Sony. Two-DVD sets of Stooges shorts, presented in chronological order and completely remastered, are officially being presented by Sony and they are excellent. The second volume, representing the shorts that originally came out in 1937 to 1939. just came out on May 27th. This period is the one in which the Stooges were doing everything right and contains some of the best Curly shorts. These shorts are hilarious and this Stooges purist recommends both The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 1: 1934-1936 and The Three Stooges Collection, Volume 2: 1937-1939 highly.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
One click of the picture to the left will tell you the whole story. If you don't already know, the Holy Trinity of Rock (as officially anointed by Allmusic.com) consists of (in order of release) Black Sabbath Paranoid, Led Zeppelin 4 and Deep Purple Machine Head. Why are these three albums so important? Released over the course of approximately a year between 1971 and 1972, they formed the stylistic basis of most heavy metal music that was yet to come. They were all three different, but elements of all them were the seeds from which subsequent metal sprung. Props must immediately be given to Black Sabbath for changing their course slightly and creating the completely original Paranoid. Zep came next, forging new ground on 4 with songs like Black Dog and the unforgettable, all-purpose request Stairway to Heaven. Purple came last, creating what would be remembered as their best album, and my personal favorite, Machine Head. Can you ever get over the careening Highway Star, the never to be duplicated back beat of Maybe I'm a Leo and the Most Famous Guitar Riff In The History Of Rock on Smoke on the Water? These three albums, when heard some thirty something years later, still sound amazingly potent. I know that I would not be the same person I am today without the Holy Trinity of Rock. How about you?
For the first time in awhile, I saw a new blockbuster film on opening day. Not much of a crowd, just the usual suspects. Some of them were particularly rude, reminding me of why I avoid crowded movie theaters of late. The movie, however, was great! Harrison Ford, older by 19 years, cavorts around in the year of my birth, 1957. Atomic bombs go off, KGB agents are hunting down Indy and even Area 51 is opened up! Ford is still the same old Indiana Jones (which means he's great!) and there are plenty of references to stuff that you loved in the previous three films. IMHO, Raiders of the Lost Ark is still the best Indy film, but I enjoyed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as much or more than I liked the second and third movies. An enjoyable movie going experience in a fun summer movie season so far.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Well, I enjoyed it. And I really thought I would be disappointed. Maybe it was the innovative Wachowski Brothers direction and quirky writing that is in reverence to the original 1960's animated series, or the tight resemblance to the original characters, or the whirlwind action and attention to detail. It was probably all of those things. I was never bored even after 130 minutes. Don't listen to the poor reviews and go see it.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
This past week at the New Jersey Library Association annual conference, I presented on a panel entitled "Adult Graphic Novels for Every Library." With me on the panel were my esteemed colleagues Tyler Rousseau, Laverne Mann and Karla Ivarson. We are all library professionals here in New Jersey and we have in common, amongst other things, a love of comics and graphic novels. So, we attempted to help our librarian friends attending the conference with their collection development needs by suggesting graphic novel titles that should form the basis for a collection designed for adults. I recommended Watchmen, Pride of Baghdad, Daredevil: Born Again and All-Star Superman, Vol. 1. It was a great pleasure and an honor to present with these friends. Click on the picture to get a better look at the entire panel (l to r: Dave, Laverne, Karla, Ty). Photo courtesy of Lisa Coats (thanks Lisa)!