A Blast From The Past: How Do You Know It’s Love (dir by Ted Peshak)

Jack: “I love you.  Do you love me?”

Nora: “I’ll have to think about it.”

OUCH!  That had to hurt, though I’m totally on Nora’s side here.  Jack is coming on way too strong.  I mean, they were having a perfectly pleasant time and then suddenly Jack has to bring “love” into it all.  They’ve only been dating a few weeks!

Jack and Nora are the two “teenagers” at the heart of How Do You Know It’s Love?, an educational film from 1950.  After Nora’s mother informs her that she’s too young and immature to understand anything about love and after Jack’s brother taunts him for falling in love with a new girl every week, Jack and Nora decide to go on a double date so that they can see what mature love is all about.  The main message of the film is that one shouldn’t mistake attraction for love and that teenagers should date a lot of people before settling down.  It’s not a bad message but it’s one that will probably be missed by many viewers due to the fact that Jack and Nora are both kind of goofy.

Believe it or not, this film was not directed by Herk Harvey.  Instead, this one of the 33 educational films that former journalist Ted Peshak directed in the 1950s for Coronet films.  Though Peshak made a lot of films for Coronet, he was never paid more than $190 a week and, perhaps understandably, he abandoned the educational film game in the 60s and instead went to work in real estate.  I don’t blame him.

Anyway, here’s the film.  Watch and ask yourself the big questions.

AMV of the Day: Clint Eastwood (Soul Eater)

Hey, it is Clint Eastwood’s birthday after all.

Anime: Soul Eater

Song: Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz

CreatorIgnis andVengeance (as always, please consider subscribing to this creator’s YouTube channel)

Past AMVs of the Day

Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for May

It’s that time of the month again!

It’s time for me to once again try to predict what will be nominated for the Oscars.  If you had to told me, at this time last year, that Top Gun: Maverick would emerge as an Oscar contender, I would have said that you were crazy but here we are.  Admittedly, it is early in the year and I think there’s always going to be some ambivalence towards honoring Tom Cruise.  (You just know that someone is having nightmares about him thanking David Miscavige in his Oscar speech.)  But with the reviews and the box office success that Top Gun: Maverick is getting, it would be a mistake to dismiss it.  After all, Mad Max: Fury Road came out around this same time of year in 2015.  As well, one can be sure that A24 will be giving Everything Everywhere All At Once a heavy awards push as well.  This could very well be the year of the genre blockbuster as far as the Oscars are concerned.

As for Cannes, it’s come and gone.  George Miller’s Three Thousand Years of Longing got some good reviews, even if those reviews didn’t translate into awards at the end of the Festival.  David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future sounds like it’s going to be too divisive for the Academy and really, the thought of Cronenberg winning an Oscar has always been a bit implausible, regardless of how much he may or may not deserve one.  As for James Gray’s Armageddon Time, Gray has always been more popular with critics than with audiences or Academy voters.  If Gray couldn’t break through with something like The Lost City of Z, I doubt he’s going to do so with an autobiographical film about his life in private school.  Steven Spielberg already has the autobiography slot wrapped up with The Fabelmans. 

Of course, there’s still many films left to see and many more film festivals to be held.  Let us not forget that Martin Scorsese is bringing us Killers of the Flower Moon.  Personally, I’m looking forward to Damien Chazelle’s Babylon.  In short, nothing has been settled yet.  For all the acclaim that Top Gun and Everything are getting, who knows how the race is going to look at the start of the Fall season?

Anyway, here are my predictions for May.  Be sure to check out my predictions for February and March and April as well!

Best Picture



Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

I Want To Dance With Somebody

Killers of the Flower Moon

Next Goal Wins


She Said

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Kasi Lemmons for I Want To Dance With Somebody

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Taika Waititi for Next Goal Wins

Best Actor

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Idris Elba in Three Thousand Years of Longing

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Want To Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in Tar

Margot Robie in Babylon

Tilda Swinton in Three Thousand Years of Longing

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Tantoo Cardinal in Flowers of the Killer Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

Samantha Morton in She Said

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Crypto is Back in Destroy All Humans! 2 — Reprobed!

From the minute that I first played the remake of Destroy All Humans, I’ve been waiting and hoping for the reboot of Destroy All Humans 2 and my hopes have finally been answered.  THQ Nordic dropped the trailer for Destroy All Humans 2 — Reprobed today.  The trailer not only gave us a release date (August 30th) but it also provided us with some incredible footage from the game.

This looks great!  I can’t wait until August!

Liberty & Bash (1989, directed by Myrl A. Schreibman)

Liberty (Miles “How much Keeffe is in this film?” O’Keeffe) and Bash (Lou Ferrigno) served together in Nam and then came back to Los Angeles to clean up the streets.  Liberty is a parole officer who doesn’t take no for an answer.  Bash owns a gym and runs a Guardian Angels type of operation.  Their friend and fellow vet, Jesse (Richard Eden), has a mullet and wears acid-washed mom jeans.  Jesse lives with his sister, Melissa (Cheryl Paris), who never wears pants.  When Jesse is murdered by a drug lord who spends almost all of his time soaking in the tub, Liberty and Bash eventually get around to seeking revenge.

The movie is called Liberty & Bash but Bash is actually only in a few minutes of the movie and Lou Ferrigno’s voice is dubbed by another actor.  This was probably done because Ferrigno is partially deaf and, as a hard-of-hearing person who happens to be a big Lou Ferrigno fan, that really bothered me.  Of the many storylines that floated through Liberty & Bash, Lou Ferrigno leading a Guardian Angels chapter was probably the one with the most potential but Liberty & Bash doesn’t do much with that.  When Bash wasn’t around, the other characters should have been saying, “Hey, where’s Bash?”

Instead, the movie is all about Liberty.  Even though Liberty is trying to bring the drug lord to justice and prove that Jesse didn’t commit suicide, the majority of the film is taken up with scenes of Liberty arguing with his girlfriend, a social worker named Sarah (Mitzi Kapture).  Sarah is pregnant but she’s considering getting an abortion.  Liberty spends almost the entire movie trying to talk her out of getting an abortion.  Sarah and Liberty even argue about it during the film’s climatic action scene.  I’m not kidding.  This is the first action film that I’ve ever seen where the action was regularly interrupted by the abortion debate.  The movie is obviously on Liberty’s side but Liberty is so obnoxious about it that the audience will be on Sarah’s side.  Sarah can’t make up her mind until one of the bad guys points a gun at her belly and she says, “My baby!”  

It’s a weird movie and doesn’t add up to the much.  If not for a little profanity and some brief nudity, Liberty & Bash could have passed as the pilot for syndicated, Stephen J. Cannell cop show.  Mr. B (Charles Dierkop) is Los Angeles’s least intimidating drug lord.  Mitzi Kapture is sexy, elegant, and displays the patience of a saint as Sarah.  Miles O’Keeffe is usually the coolest cat this side of Michael Pare but in this movie, he’s surly and won’t stop yelling at his girlfriend. Cheryl Paris spends almost the entire movie in her underwear, showing that the filmmakers at least knew who their target audience was.  Those who like to keep an eye out for mullets and off-the-shoulder t-shirts will find the film to be a feast.  The movie had miles of Keeffe but it needed more Bash.

Interactive Fiction Review: Graveyard Shift At The Riverview Motel (2022, Seb Pines)

In Graveyard Shift At The Riverview Motel, you have what might be the worst job in the world.

You work the graveyard shift at the Riverview Motel.  The Riverview was once a quality establishment but it has since fallen on hard times.  You can spend your shift sitting at the front desk or you can go outside and smoke a cigarette.  If you get bored, you can step into the employee hallway and, moving the pictures on the wall aside, you can take a look in each of the six rooms and the people who are staying there.

Inside each room, a different story is playing out.  Which story you get involved in depends on how involved you want to get.  If you want to spend your entire shift sitting at the front desk, you can do that.  You’ll get hints about some of the strange things happening in the motel but you won’t be under any obligation to pursue them.  If you want to spend all of your time focusing on one room, you can do that as well.  If you want to go from room to room and catch snippets of all of the stories playing out at once, you can do that too.  It’s all up to you how involved you get.

Graveyard Shift at the Riverview Motel is an interactive text adventure, designed using Twine.  Because of the game’s format, it can be played several times and it rewards player who have the patience to do multiple walkthroughs.  The writing is clever and the sense of humor is acidic.  It captures the feeling of being at work and looking for anything to possibly distract from actually having to do your job.  I spent a few months working the graveyard shift to help pay for college and this game brought back some memories.  All of the stories that occur in the motel pay tribute to classic horror films and they all end in a properly macabre fashion.  One of my favorite aspects of the game was how blasé the desk clerk remained, regardless of what sort of strange things he was witnessing.  It doesn’t matter how many people die as long as you can clock out when your shift is over.

There is a learning curve with the game.  Several turns make up a minute in game time and, unfortunately, if you stay in one location (like the front desk or the parking lot) for that entire minute, then the same description is repeated over and over again until the next minute begins.  So, if you’re in the front lobby and a man storms in and says something strange, remaining in the lobby means that same action will seemingly happen over and over again.  When this first occurred, I thought the game itself was freezing on me and I nearly stopped playing.  Eventually, I realized what the problem was and, after a while, I just made sure to keep walking from location to location until the next minute began.  I think this is something that could be fixed whenever the game is updated and I hope it will be because it was really the only problem I had with this playing experience.

Play Graveyard Shift at the Riverview Motel.

Great Moments In Comic Book History #23: J. Jonah Jameson Is Elected Mayor of New York City

In 2009, the crusading newspaper publisher, J. Jonah Jameson, was elected Mayor of New York City. At least, that’s what happened in Amazing Spider-Man #591.

It didn’t turn out well, of course.  Mayor Jameson spent too much time obsession on Spider-Man and not enough time fixing the subways. He was bombastic, stubborn, and refused to admit when he was wrong.  That shouldn’t have taken anyone by surprise.  New Yorkers knew what they were getting when they voted for him but they elected him anyway. Of course, in 2009, the idea of a buffoon like J. Jonah Jameson ever holding a major political office seemed like a fantasy. Today, Jonah would fit right in with the majority of the people in Washington.

As mayor, Jameson ended up getting manipulated by both Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin.  It’s no wonder that Mayor Jameson failed to even finish his first term before having to resign.

He was still better than De Blasio, though.

Previous Great Moments In Comic Book History:

  1. Winchester Before Winchester: Swamp Thing Vol. 2 #45 “Ghost Dance” 
  2. The Avengers Appear on David Letterman
  3. Crisis on Campus
  4. “Even in Death”
  5. The Debut of Man-Wolf in Amazing Spider-Man
  6. Spider-Man Meets The Monster Maker
  7. Conan The Barbarian Visits Times Square
  8. Dracula Joins The Marvel Universe
  9. The Death of Dr. Druid
  10. To All A Good Night
  11. Zombie!
  12. The First Appearance of Ghost Rider
  13. The First Appearance of Werewolf By Night
  14. Captain America Punches Hitler
  15. Spider-Man No More!
  16. Alex Ross Captures Galactus
  17. Spider-Man And The Dallas Cowboys Battle The Circus of Crime
  18. Goliath Towers Over New York
  19. NFL SuperPro is Here!
  20. Kickers Inc. Comes To The World Outside Your Window
  21. Captain America For President
  22. Alex Ross Captures Spider-Man

Great Moments In Television History #19: CHiPs Skates With The Stars

On September 22nd, 1979, NBC aired the premiere of the third season CHiPs.  The show, which revolved around the hijinks of the members of the California Highway Patrol, was never a favorite of the critics but it was a hit with young audiences who didn’t know any better.  For the start of the third season, the show paid those fans back with Roller Disco.

On this special, two-hour episode, Ponch (Erik Estrada) and Jon (Larry Wilcox) pursued thieves on roller skates while setting up the patrol’s annual charity benefit, which also involved roller skates.  The plot was not as important as the epic finale, in which Baker and Captain Getear (Andrew Pine) greeted all of the local celebrities who showed up for the the charity roller disco.  The scene is remembered for both the quality of the stars (Melissa Sue Anderson and Nancy Kulp!) and the excited announcer who spent the entire benefit shouting out names.

Behold, the 70s:

Previous Moments In Television History:

  1. Planet of the Apes The TV Series
  2. Lonely Water
  3. Ghostwatch Traumatizes The UK
  4. Frasier Meets The Candidate
  5. The Autons Terrify The UK
  6. Freedom’s Last Stand
  7. Bing Crosby and David Bowie Share A Duet
  8. Apaches Traumatizes the UK
  9. Doctor Who Begins Its 100th Serial
  10. First Night 2013 With Jamie Kennedy
  11. Elvis Sings With Sinatra
  12. NBC Airs Their First Football Game
  13. The A-Team Premieres
  14. The Birth of Dr. Johnny Fever
  15. The Second NFL Pro Bowl Is Broadcast
  16. Maude Flanders Gets Hit By A T-Shirt Cannon
  17. Charles Rocket Nearly Ends SNL
  18. Frank Sinatra Wins An Oscar

Book Review: The Assassination Chain by Sybil Leek and Bert R. Sugar

Here’s a few things you should know about me.

I don’t believe in ghosts.

I don’t believe in aliens.

I don’t believe in reincarnation.

I don’t believe in manifesting events and I sure as heck don’t believe in the power of Twitter prayer circles.

I do believe that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

That makes me a bit of a rarity in our conspiracy-crazed culture but, to me, the idea of one loser killing the most powerful man in the world makes more sense than the idea of some gigantic, complex conspiracy coming together and developing a needlessly complicated plot to kill someone who they could have just as easily blackmailed or circumvented through other methods.

That said, just because I don’t believe in conspiracy theories doesn’t mean that I don’t find them to be oddly fascinating.  Take, for instance, the 1977 conspiracy tome, The Assassination Chain.

Written by Sybil Leek and Bert R. Sugar, The Assassination Chain takes a look at the theories surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Each major theory — from Oswald acting alone to accusations against the CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, Castro, the anti-Castroites, the military-industrial complex, and various right-wing oilmen — is given its own separate chapter.  With the exception of the official story, each theory is given respectful consideration.  After detailing the JFK theories, The Assassination Chain features chapters about the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr, and Robert F. Kennedy.  It even takes a look at the attempted assassination of George Wallace and suggests that both Sirhan Sirhan and Arthur Bremer were brainwashed by people who were concerned that either RFK or Wallace could keep Nixon out of the White house.

And, in conclusion, the book suggest that the guilty party was …. EVERYONE!  Everyone from the CIA to the FBI to the Mafia to the Pentagon to the richest men in Texas came together in a gigantic plot to not only kill JFK but to also to kill Rev. King, RFK, and Wallace.  (I think this might be the only book to suggest that MLK and George Wallace had the same enemies.)  Who could stand at the controls of such a plot?  Almost as an afterthought, the book accuses Howard Hughes, the famously eccentric billionaire who was later played by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Aviator.

The book’s conclusions aren’t particularly convincing but they do provide an interesting insight into the conspiracy mindset, which states that the only evidence that matters is the evidence that supports the conclusion that you’ve already reached.  There’s actually far more evidence to suggest that Oswald acted alone than there is to suggest that the CIA would risk its existence by assassinating the President as opposed to just threatening to leak the details of the President’s extramarital affairs to the press.  But it’s comforting to assume that the world’s events are the result of a conspiracy as opposed to just the act of one loser who was upset because his wife left him.  Conspiracies provide a way to understand the whims of fate.  There’s a comfort in believing that everything happens as a part of a deliberate chain as opposed to just being random events.

The thing is, though, The Assassination Chain makes for an interesting read.  Regardless of whether you buy the conspiracy angle or not, it’s always interesting to explore the darker corners of the 60s and early 70s.  One reason why the JFK assassination conspiracy theories are so fascinating is because they all involve shady and downright weird characters, like alcoholic ex-FBI agent Guy Bannister and his partner, a hairless pilot and amateur cancer researcher named David Ferrie.  The Assassination Chain provides a tour through the fringes of the 60s and introduces to many of the characters who were made their home in those fringes.  The book’s final chapter is a detailed Who’s Who of everyone who, up to that point, had been caught up in the assassinations and the theories that followed and it’s an interesting collection of eccentrics, wannabe spies, and mentally unstable blowhards.

The worn and beat-up copy of this book that I read was obviously an old library book.  It reeked of cigarette smoke and, as I leafed through the book last week, I found myself imagining the previous owner, chainsmoking while trying to understand the chaotic and random nature of the world.  Whomever that person was, I hope they found some sort of answer.