A Delightful Hour of Animated Shorts (Not The Kind You Wear) (Probably)

This is my entry for the Pussy Goes Grrr! Short Animation Blogathon. Warning: Naughtiness to follow. No pictures will be unsafe, but the videos linked and the words posted are NSFW. You have been warned. We begin our hour-long program of animated shorts with a Chuck Jones double feature of the 1951 Looney Tunes short “Rabbit Fire” and the 1952 “Rabbit Seasoning.” There is precious little difference between the two, with the latter considered a sequel to the former. Both are part of what is called the “hunting trilogy” with “Duck! Rabbit Duck!” — known to most of us as the “It’s fiddler crab season!” episode — being the finale. Honestly, none of the films differ significantly from each other, with the exception of a few gags and the choice of drag Bugs wears, though in “Duck! Rabbit Duck!” he doesn’t even appear in drag, which is a shame because he’s a knockout in a dress. Both “Rabbit Fire” and “Rabbit Seasoning” feature the same music, the same plot devices, and even the same style of an outdoor background with fall colors; despite Wikipedia’s claim to the contrary, “Rabbit Fire” doesn’t seem to be set in the spring, unless spring is known for red, orange and yellow leaves. Yet even though both episodes have similar landmarks, such as a group of four trees repeatedly seen in the distance, these backgrounds are unique to each episode and not simply recycled from the first. The plots are the same, though: Daffy learns … Continue reading

Levon Helm (1940-2012)

  The Weight The Band with The Staple Singers The Last Waltz (1976)   A few months ago, my interest in a pop singer lead me to The Last Waltz (1976) and to where I am today, which is grief-stricken (obviously), but beyond that is the realization that I’m in the midst of some larger change that, for once, I’m really optimistic about. “Change” for about a dozen years now has equated “sickness” and/or “death,” resulting in a bit of fear of change which I’m sure you can understand. This change is different, though, and for once it doesn’t involve an exciting new prescription medication. It has been a gradual sneaking-up kind of change, one that I think started during the Shatnerthon but which didn’t coalesce until about half a year ago. It was then I popped in The Last Waltz, and when I got past the kinda goofy beginning, “Up On Cripple Creek” began and suddenly a million lost memories from childhood came back in that proverbial flood everyone’s always talking about. I grew up in Southern Missouri in the 1970s, in a small town that was not particularly keen on the urban disco sensation but which loved the early-1970s folk-tinged rock sound. Our radio station KJEL would play The Eagles, early Elton John, crossover artists like Linda Ronstadt and Tanya Tucker, and The Band. The 1968 hit “The Weight” must have gotten just as much play on KJEL in 1979 as it did a decade earlier. Somehow, through … Continue reading

Week of Hong: The Seventh Sin (1957)

This is my entry for the Week of Hong, hosted by Lost Video Archive. Don’t forget to check out all the other entries this week! *** The Seventh Sin is based on the exceedingly popular 1925 novel The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham. This book was previously set to film in a 1934 version starring Greta Garbo, Herbert Marshall and George Brent. Elements of the novel were used in other pre-code films, too, primarily Mandalay, released just eight months before The Painted Veil. The Garbo version is more true to the novel, while the 1957 version with Eleanor Parker glosses over the backstory of the adultress and begins right smack dab in the middle of the, well, adultering. The dialogue in The Seventh Sin is just short of ridiculous. At one point, the bitter-but-married Carol and Walter engage in a stuttery exchange that sounds uncannily like the joke dialogue Eddie Izzard invented in his famous routine comparing US with UK films. The Seventh Sin is so bitter and cynical that George Sanders is brought in to liven things up a bit, to ground the participants and add a little humor and humanity. When George Sanders is your voice of reason, you are in deep damn trouble. Carol Carwin is an American married to Englishman Dr. Walter Carwin (Bill Travers), both living in Hong Kong where Dr. Carwin is doing research. When the film opens, Carol is inconveniently in bed with her lover Paul (Jean-Pierre Aumont). Well, it’s not inconvenient … Continue reading

The White Elephant Blogathon: Clara Bow and It (1927)

Caution: Spoilers ahead! *** Truth be told, I consider The White Elephant Blogathon a chance to inflict pain, suffering, discomfort, loss of appetite and slight headache upon some poor unsuspecting soul. That’s why I proffered up Universal Soldier: The Return and Big Trouble in previous years, irritating the recipients so much one victim considered smashing his computers to bits. But this year I apparently mortally offended the recipient, who launched into a personal attack on both his blog and Twitter, which is baffling to me because… well, dammit, isn’t the White Elephant about possibly receiving a completely shit movie? Isn’t that why Paul C. calls us “victims” in our assignment email? Update: This year’s list is here. Note that Matt Lynch received Freddy Got Fingered and did not launch into a personal attack on the submitter. Just, ya know, puttin’ that out there. Further complicating my understanding of the purpose of this blogathon is the movie I received this year: It (1927), silent classic and late-20s cultural phenomenon. Technically, the rules state the film submitted can “be anything you want to see another person review. It could be something you’d love to show to your best friend, or it could be something you’d only force on your worst enemy,” so I really should not have been surprised to get a good film, but I was. Did they hope someone like me would receive It, expecting a post full of my amazing, shiny geniusness? Hope not, ’cause they are going to … Continue reading