Thursday, May 28, 2020

My STAR WARS Day (1977)

The line for You-Know-What outside
the Loew's Astor Plaza, circa 1977
It was 43 years ago today—on the afternoon of Saturday, May 28, 1977—that I saw the movie that changed everything.
Really, everything: I even believe that the film was partially responsible for getting Reagan elected… (but that’s an unsubstantiated theory for another day).

It had opened in NYC earlier that week—on Wednesday, May 25—at only a handful of theaters, none in Brooklyn, I recall (or else we would have seen it there).
We had arrived at the Loew’s Astor Plaza (now gone, sort of), right off Times Square, at 11:30am, but they were only selling tix for 4pm. Shrug, we got no choice.
Holy moly! There was a line that stretched around the block, all the way around the four corners and back again! The theater across the street showing The Car was deserted. Tumbleweeds.

In Loew’s, the excitement was palpable. The theater was a’buzzin’! We’d scored decent seats in the smoking section (and there were already slight whiffs of something other than tobacco already in the air), and the lights went down. No trailers, just the extended 20th Century Fox fanfare (a sign of quality!), those clean graphics in that groovy blue font in silence (build the tension), WHAM—

Thursday, May 21, 2020

The Short Story Long About Meeting Mike Mignola (and “Hellboy”)

Before the release of the first Hellboy movie, Mike Mignola came to NYC in April 2004 to do a signing/promo-tour at St. Mark’s Comics—
but the store had forgotten to publicize the event! I was the only person there—and I had never even read the comic before!

I had no idea who the guy was but took pity and started a conversation with Mike Mignola. He was gracious and kind, and very willing to promote his creation. I asked him which graphic novel a neophyte should start with, and he recommended The Chained Coffin and Others (1998).
I bought it, and asked him to sign it. (See above)
I’ve been a Hellboy fan ever since.
Thanks, Mr. Mignola!

Saturday, May 16, 2020

BACK FROM THE DEAD! (Both Me and Dracula)

“I vant du suck yur blud…”

Dracula! Everybody knows the story—but mainly through the movies (Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, and Frank Langella’s turn on Broadway for New Yorkers of a certain age) or through comic books (I was a regular reader of the Gene Colan-illustrated Marvel publication The Tomb of Dracula), but how many of you have actually read Bram Stoker’s tome? Not many, right? Well, that’s fine, because, lemme tell ya, as a read, the book Dracula is, for the most part, a snooze—everything is explained and detailed to the Nth degree: “I placed upon my foot a leather covering with laces used to tighten the processed cowhide around said foot called a shoe…” That type of thing—Yawnsville with a capital “Y.”

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Procrastination List: The Movies of August, September and October

I’m in grad school, and this movie blog is getting the short-shrift.
Here’s the List of the movies—and books—absorbed during August, September and October of 2015:

Saturday, August 8, 2015

JULY @)!% (Get It?)

Y’know, I don’t include the baseball games I go to…

I have not had the motivation to WRITE like I used to.
But I won’t whine about it; I don’t need to guilt-trip myself.
A ton of movies absorbed in some crazy attempt at variety?
An eclectic mix certainly, but lacking on anything pre-1950… I guess all my viewing is stuck in certain eras and genres. I’m hardly ecumenical when you think about it—and very much learn to subject matter best covered with a blanket marked, “Weirdness.”
But did watching this stuff help me intellectually and creatively—like I know my reading this month did—or did all these screenings just waste time, and worse, fill me with a horrible regret? What the hell am I talking about? 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Blast Off From the Listoverse! (The Movies and Readings of June 2015)

So I have been taking summer classes at CCNY this past June, and…Yeah, you got it, I’ve been busy.
List and brief commentary on films seen in June below, but I’ll say this: June was spent catching up on last year’s flicks that I missed due to school, etc.
Obviously I am not as into this blog as I used to be. I gotta get my mind right boss. I’ve got a lot of other things going on.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

If Apple Ever Makes an ‘iVan,’ I’m Gonna Sue: The Movies of April & May 2015

Late for everything—even supper! (Started a summer course before my spring courses ended—what am I? Crazy?)

Feeling very…I dunno.
The semester has ended—thank the Great Old Ones!—and I did well grade-wise (hey kids, studying hard and midnight sacrifices to demon gods always works!), but the workload was so damn intense and overwhelming and grinding that I don’t think that I have recovered completely.

Then again, I’ve never been much good while in between projects—especially the intense ones—and then when the mood swings begin interfering, well, that’s all she wrote…