WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by John Hamilton 04.23.2015 10 days ago
at 01:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Forgotten Classics: Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier

Reviewing lesser-known films that stand the test of time

We all have that one Disney movie that we love dearly. The one film that, despite whatever age we are, we can watch and enjoy. For me there are several that meet that criteria: The Three Caballeros (1945), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Great Mouse Detective (1986) and countless others. But the one film that takes the No. 1 spot on my list is Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, Disney’s take on the adventures of famed frontiersman and one-time congressman. The movie’s plot ranges from his time in the Creek Wars to his congress years to his final stand at the Alamo. If I may get personal for a moment: I was obsessed with this movie when I was kid. I couldn’t get enough Crockett related stuff. I even dressed up as Crockett for Halloween one year. I was heartbroken when the film’s lead actor, Fess Parker, passed away in 2010. So, yes, this movie meant a lot to me. In a way, it set me on the path to my love of films and shaped me in a lot of ways. I’m sure to some people the biggest flaw with the movie is that the plot is a rather romanticized telling of Crockett’s adventures. There’s very rarely a moment where he isn’t an upstanding guy, but to me that kind of works for the film. Walt Disney had no pretentions about this film (originally a mini-series) — he wasn’t planning on making this a super deep movie with complex characters and themes. What Disney wanted to do was take an iconic American folk hero and give the intended audience a person to look up to and root for. To me, you couldn’t anyone more perfect than actor and future wine maker Fess Parker. Now as I stated before, Crockett’s portrayal in the film is a romanticized, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some powerful moments — outside of the heroic times — with him. For me, one of the best emotional moments in the film is when Crockett receives word about his wife’s death. His sidekick throughout the film Georgie Russell (Buddy Ebsen) reads a letter delivering the unfortunate news and you can see the news slowly sinking into him. Russell consoles him and asks him if there’s something he can do, and all Crockett says is, “Just give me some time to think.” He then slowly and quietly walks into the woods to try and figure out what to do without his other half. Without any dialogue or music playing, we get a true sense how deeply this has affected him. The film doesn’t shy away from all the historical facts; the most obvious example is that in the end he and his comrades die at the Alamo. Granted, they don’t show Crockett’s death onscreen but, then again, given how nobody knows how Crockett actually died it makes sense that we don’t see it. The movie ends with him swinging his rifle like a club at the overwhelming forces without a hint of fear. Like a lot of classic Disney films, it features many great qualities: It has a memorable soundtrack that will have you humming its songs for hours on end; a great sense of adventure and excitement; and a terrific cavalcade of characters performed by great character actors. I mentioned earlier Parker and Ebsen who have amazing chemistry together. There’s also stunt-man Nick Cravat as the mute Comanche Indian named Busted Luck who shows that not only does he have bravery but he's also very witty and smart. There’s a great scene where he foils a trickster’s attempt at swindling him out of food. Speaking of which, there’s the dandy riverboat gambler Thimblerig played by Hans Conried who is a delight in every scene. Some of you know him best as the voice of Captain Hook in Disney’s Peter Pan (1953) and as Thorin in Rankin/Bass’ version of The Hobbit (1977). If you haven’t seen this Disney gem, do yourself a favor and check it out, especially if you have youngsters. Then check out the prequel Davy Crockett and the River Pirates featuring the fun and bombastic character actor Jeff York as Mike Fink, King of the River.
 
 

He's Flying!

Peter Pan is everywhere these days — including the Cincinnati Playhouse

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Peter Pan is a Johnny-come-lately in the world of fairytales.  
by Jac Kern 01.14.2015 109 days ago
Posted In: Movies, Music, TV/Celebrity, Humor at 12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

American Idol’s 14th season premiered last week and if you think you shouldn’t care because Ryan Seacrest makes you uncomfortable, you are wrong. Well, not about the Ryan Seacrest part — he is very distracting. Like, why is he still around? How much does he get paid to be a weirdo to young singers? Is he actually a robot? What really happened to Brian Dunkleman? But you should be excited because Cincinnati’s own Jess Lamb is on it, and there’s a very good chance she’ll go far in the competition. I typically don’t watch the music competition shows like Idol and The Voice, because witnessing genuine humans be embarrassed on television really upsets me. But when I heard Jess Lamb had auditioned and got the golden Hollywood ticket, I had to give the show a shot. Jess is a great local artist and I camped next to her at Bonnaroo one year, so I'm pretty much famous by proxy.Anyway, at 28 years old, Jess is painted as the mature one of the auditioning bunch, which is probably going to make you feel like a shriveled French fry at the bottom of a car. But with her age (seriously, I can’t) comes a breadth of talent and experience. She writes and performs her own songs but — judging by her audition — has no trouble with the traditional covers Idol necessitates. Jess auditioned in Kansas City, Mo., and got a great reaction from the judges, particularly crooner Harry Connick, Jr. Check it out: Auditions will continue every Wednesday and Thursday for the next couple weeks, so we won’t be seeing much of Jess again until the final 48 contestants are narrowed down to 24 after a performance in front of a live audience (this has already been filmed). So, will Jess make the cut? Idol teased us with a “look” — or rather, listen — at the top 24. You can hear them sing but can’t really make out anyone’s face. Judge for yourself. All I can make out is a Captain Hook-looking dude with dreads. GO JESS. Remember the uber-sleazy Gaston from Beauty and the Beast? You know the song, “No one's slick as Gaston/No one's quick as Gaston/No one does push-ups in the middle of an amusement park like Gaston…” What? Yes. Sia’s “Chandelier” girl is back, and she’s dance-battling in a dirty cage with Shia LaBeouf, which some people are NOT OK with. Also, why did I just learn that the little girl, Maddie Ziegler, is from Lifetime gem Dance Moms?! Speaking of times when we all get sucked into Wikipedia holes… Rapper T.I. is basically a suicide prevention specialist. This isn’t news, but it’s new to me (please don’t ask why I’m Internet-searching random rappers at night). Seriously, “Rescue of suicidal men” is a sub-section on his Wikipedia page. In 2010, he stopped a young man from taking his life by convincing him to not jump off a 22-foot Atlanta building. T.I. heard about the situation on the radio, drove to the scene and asked police if there was anything he could do to help. Pretty incredible. But before that, in 2006, T.I. discovered a struggling Scott Stapp after the Creed frontman had jumped over his hotel balcony (whether this was a suicide attempt or the result of insomniac hallucinations varies in reports). Can we have T.I. intervene on Scott Stapp again please? Side note: Awesome reality show idea. For real, though, dude seems like he needs it. On a lighter note, here’s a Larry David Lynch blog! Parks and Recreation’s final season premiered last night. Jurassic World will be unleashed into theaters this summer. Chris Pratt stars in both. Relevant: American Crime Story casting news! If you recall, Ryan Murphy is spinning off on his American Horror Story miniseries franchise with a true crime series. The idea is to explore a different criminal case in American history each season, like how each AHS season explores fear and freaky folklore in a different arena. The series’ debut will focus on the O.J. Simpson trial. Cuba Gooding, Jr.will play O.J., David "Forever Ross" Schwimmer will play Robert Kardashian and John Travolta will play Robert Shapiro. So much wut.This dog takes a bus to the dog park and knows to get off at the appropriate stop — alone — which is more than I can say about myself. The Golden Globes, a.k.a Amy ‘n’ Tina’s Sleepover Party, were Sunday. The duo kicked ass in their final hosting gig, don’t get me wrong, but overall the show left me wanting something more exciting. Maybe it was the fact that the awards were so spread out. There were big winners, for sure (Transparent, Boyhood), but there were a lot of new winners (which yields heartfelt but otherwise boring speeches) and no one show or film truly swept. If anything, it gave me a bunch of new movies and shows to add to my watch-list. Peep the nominees and winners here, if you care, but the best part of the production was the monologue. TinAmy were perfection. They even killed it with a Cosby rape joke that certainly shook up the audience. Nothing like seeing rich, famous celebrities panic over whether it’s OK to laugh.Other notes: Leelah Alcorn — the local transgender teen who took her own life earlier this month — got a shout out from Transparent creator Jill Soloway. The stars of Fifty Shades of Grey couldn’t muster enough chemistry to present an award, so that’s probably not a good sign… George Clooney got a lifetime achievement award and said nice things about his new wife. Chrissy Teigen ugly-cried when husband John Legend accepted an award with Common. And that’s about it! Of course, the Oscars are the pinnacle of awards season, and those nominees will be announced Thursday.
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.09.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 10:50 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The fellas of Mad Men showed off their mad manes (sorry) when Jon Hamm and Pete Campbell revealed some pretty epic ‘dos to the public this week.Let’s start with Mr. Draper. Apparently in all my research of Jon Hamm (Read: browsing his free-ballin’ pics), neither I — nor the rest of the Internet — realized the star had appeared on the short-lived dating show The Big Date in 1996. The USA Network game show was hosted by Mark Walberg (the Antiques Roadshow one, not the triple-nipple one). Then-25-year-old Hamm, identified on the show as a waiter, rocked the classic ‘90s parted shaggy ‘do (which I like to call the Shawn Hunter). And as if that wasn’t enough to confuse your boner (or ladyboner), just watch as he describes his perfect first date: (Cut to the 2-minute mark for Hamm’s introduction, but seriously just watch the whole thing). TOTAL FABULOUSITY! For some unknown reason that will go down as one of life’s biggest mysteries, Hamm did not go on to win a date. FOR SHAME! OK, fast forward to modern times at the Mad Men premiere party last week. Vincent Kartheiser aka Pete Campbell showed up looking like he started to pull a Britney before changing his mind and running to the red carpet.Apparently the actor shaves his bang area (why does that sound so dirty) so his character Pete can have a receding hairline  — because obviously — but couldn’t he achieve that look with makeup and a bald cap? Or why not just shave the whole thing? This is especially bothersome to me because, as a child, I was convinced you didn't need to "grow out" your bangs once you grew tired of them, you just had to cut them off. This could have been me:                                       WHAT IS HAPPENING Mad Men’s final season premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. on AMC. Like Breaking Bad, this final season will be split between this year and next. Read more in this week’s TV column. This week in movie remake fuckery: The Goonies 2 is coming atchu. David Letterman realized Leno wasn’t backing out of retirement this time, so he hopped on the bandwagon and announced he’d be leaving The Late Show in 2015. Chelsea Handler also recently revealed she’ll be leaving E! when her contract is up in a few months, and is one of many celebs rumored to be considered to take Dave’s place. (Her first change: Swap out Stupid Pet Tricks for Stupid Vagina Tricks. Or maybe just Stupid Tricks, a game show with hookers? Call me for more ideas, Chels!) Stephen Colbert is at the center of these rumors as well, as his Colbert Report contract also ends at the end of this year. Meanwhile Late Late host and Letterman follow-up Craig Ferguson waits in the shadows as 75 percent of Americans still think Craig Ferguson is "the black guy from The Office." Wah waaahhh Iconic album art like The Beatle’s Abbey Road can transform ordinary places into fan destinations. Check out these classic record covers inserted into their respective Google street view locations. Normally grown-ass women with a hardcore love for Disney turn me off — everyone’s entitled to a nostalgia fest every now and again, but you should not see Frozen three times in theaters if you do not have a child in your life. And there’s a new announcement for you: Anna Kendrick hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time this weekend and her debut featured not one but two nods to Disney with her Beauty and the Beast-themed monologue and, later, a Little Mermaid bit. But — as you’ll see from the links — Kendrick’s stint was anything but basic. Bravo, Anna! This will certainly be a highlight episode of the season. Could you use $500,000? Have you always wanted to be on TV? Are you either a soft-spoken racial minority or a loud-mouthed racist? Big Brother is casting its 16th season and the crew will be in Cincinnati next month to scope prospects. According to the online application, casting is curious about important personal information like applicants' weight, hair color and a “self biography” of a whopping 70 words. Those interested in being locked in a house, recorded 24/7 by 65 cameras and 98 microphones and pitted against some of the worst human beings on the planet can apply in person at Mount Adams Pavilion between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, May 2.
 
 

At the Drive-In

Hamilton's Holiday Auto Theatre is resuscitated with a modern makeover

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The Disney touch is working its magic in an unusual location far from the company’s California and Florida theme parks. Two men with Walt Disney Co. training and a love of retro culture are helping revive a 60-plus-year-old drive-in movie theater on the fringes of the old industrial city of Hamilton, Ohio.    
by Jac Kern 02.12.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Comedy at 04:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
archer

I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Some believe that thousands of years from now, when people examine the things we post and share on the Internet (the horror!), our collective obsession with cat photos will mimic the Egyptians' feline-friendly hieroglyphics. While I’d hate to see this century remembered for I Can Has Cheezburger, our cat fancy cannot be denied. Further proof: Monopoly is replacing its iron piece (who knows what those are anymore, anyway?!) with a cat. Most Archer fans know the voices behind their favorite ISIS staffers, but Vulture found the real-life inspiration for each animated character. How much tail do you think Sterling doppelganger Jason Fitzgerald is getting? Snowstorm Nemo rocked the Northeast last week, and we all know what that means for grocery stores: Is eye-posuction a thing? Lil’ Kim debuted her latest face recently, and homegirl doesn’t even look like the same species (perhaps she’s just another feline worshipper?). I’m sure I’d do a lot of fucked up stuff to myself if I was a badass millionaire rapper, but go under the knife to this point? I think not. What happened to our demure, pasty-sporting, natural beauty? Another day, another reinterpretation of Disney princesses. People can’t get enough of that shit! Bust recently featured artist Yudi Chen’s awesome male versions of classic princesses, including “Cinderfella,” “The Little Merman” and a bearded Rapunzel. One of the most annoying aspects of Facebook (and damn is that saying something) is getting its own television incarnation — Farmville: the TV show (via Videogum). Who could forget Sweet Brown, the 2012 Internet sensation from Oklahoma City, Okla. whose spirited news interview post-apartment fire went viral? You may know her from the “Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That” meme. Few surpass meme status, but Sweet Brown booked herself a dentist commercial! Via Dlisted: If you’re an Always Sunny fan, you know all about the D.E.N.N.I.S. System, Dennis Reynold’s method for luring and abandoning women, aka “erotic conquests.” Find your own system for torturing romantic pursuits here. This is mine: J - Justify Approach A - Accept Fault C - Cry Together Q - Quality Time U - Unexpected Action E - Engage Physically L - Lend Money I - Inspire Hope N - Nurture Dependence E - End Relationship Just in time for Valentine’s Day! (Thanks, Hannah!) An Internet hacker known as Guccifer recently published photos and “sensitive correspondence” from the Bush family, including both former presidents. The most interesting find? Evidence of Dubya’s interest in the arts. Via The Smoking Gun: Yes, this appears to be a self-portrait of GWB in the shower. All together now: Bush-hacked! Now, look at all this stuff fitting perfectly into unrelated stuff: http://thingsfittingperfectlyintothings.tumblr.com/
 
 

Rio (Review)

Computer-animated feature revisits a seemingly long-lost style

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Plenty of contemporary animated features are trying so hard to be clever that they forget to be fundamentally enjoyable — and as for the emotional depth, we can appreciate Pixar's impressive track record without dismissing everything that doesn't live up to that standard. 'Rio' manages to be entertaining by working within an unlikely formula: making something that's fun for kids, in the style of movies that their parents would have watched when they were kids. Grade: B.  

Earth (Review)

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Without a clear identity, 'Earth' is often merely a reminder of things that IMAX documentaries have done better. It manages a few gripping moments, but it might actually be most fascinating watching the filmmakers at their risk-taking work during the closing credits. Grade C.  

What Makes Sammy Run? (Koch Vision)

1959, Not Rated

0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A piece of legendary television history, long considered lost but discovered and restored by the Archive of American Television, makes its DVD debut with its crackling, electrifying energy intact. Budd Schulberg wrote What Makes Sammy Run?, a portrait of venal and ignorant but desperately striving, hustling Hollywood studio boss Sammy Glick, way back in 1941.  

Wall-E (Disney)

2008, Rated PG

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Chances are the Walt Disney Company is counting their blessings that they didn't part ways with Pixar after making 'Cars.' The computer animation juggernaut — and arguably a Disney savior — has again proved who wears the pants in the relationship.  

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