“O.I.” – Some Ideas are Dangerous! Check Out this Fun Short!

O.I. is one of the best short films I’ve seen in a while.  Hats off to all involved!

Barry has a unique problem. He came up with a truly original idea. And sharing it has consequences.

Chris revisits the Tiki bar where he made his first ever deal. He wants to celebrate the biggest deal he’s ever made by drinking down memory lane. It is early morning and there is only one other customer, Barry, and the Barman.

Barry is drinking to forget and is in no mood to celebrate anything. Only Chris’ offer of free drinks for a week if he can’t solve Barry’s problems makes Barry change his mind. Barry has a unique problem. He came up with a truly original idea. And he is the only one immune to it. Chris doesn’t believe a word of it and is determined to prove Barry a liar and win the bet.

Written & Directed by N’cee van Heerden

RIP: Conchata Ferrell

Conchata Ferrell passed away yesterday as a result of complications following a cardiac arrest.  She was 77.

Best known as Berta on Two and a Half Men, this is just one of her 131 acting credits!  Check out all the appearances.  What a career, but even if Conchata had only been on Two and Half Men, her career would have been made.  She was perfect in that role.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Conchata Ferrell’s family, friends and fans.

“Freaky” Starring Vince Vaughn – The Trailer is Here!

The trailer for Freaky is here and hear me out before you click away.  Yes, the concept is stupid.  In fact I almost didn’t check out the trailer.

A “Jason-like, Friday the 13th-style killer and an unpopular high school girl magically trade bodies like in Freaky Friday, except with the, you know, killing.  But I like Vince Vaughn and decided to give it a look. The Freaky trailer was funny.  Check it out and see what your mileage is.

This November, on Friday the 13th, prepare to get Freaky with a twisted take on the body-swap movie when a teenage girl switches bodies with a relentless serial killer.

Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton, Blockers, HBO’s Big Little Lies) is just trying to survive the bloodthirsty halls of Blissfield High and the cruelty of the popular crowd. But when she becomes the newest target of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), her town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries.

When The Butcher’s mystical ancient dagger causes him and Millie to wake up in each other’s bodies, Millie learns that she has just 24 hours to get her body back before the switch becomes permanent and she’s trapped in the form of a middle-aged maniac forever. The only problem is she now looks like a towering psychopath who’s the target of a city-wide manhunt while The Butcher looks like her and has brought his appetite for carnage to Homecoming.

With some help from her friends—ultra-woke Nyla (Celeste O’Connor, Ghostbusters: Afterlife), ultra-fabulous Joshua (Misha Osherovich, The Goldfinch) and her crush Booker (Uriah Shelton, Enter the Warriors Gate)—Millie races against the clock to reverse the curse while The Butcher discovers that having a female teen body is the perfect cover for a little Homecoming killing spree.

The film also stars Alan Ruck (HBO’s Succession), Katie Finneran (TV’s Why Women Kill) and Dana Drori (Hulu’s High Fidelity).

From the deliciously debased mind of writer-director Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, the Paranormal Activity franchise) comes a pitch-black horror-comedy about a slasher, a senior, and the brutal truth about high school.

Freaky is written by Christopher Landon and Michael Kennedy (Fox’s Bordertown) and is produced by Jason Blum (Halloween, The Invisible Man). The film is produced by Blumhouse Productions in association with Divide/Conquer. The executive producers are Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Volturno.

“The Comeback Trail” Starring R. DeNiro, T.L. Jones & M. Freeman – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for The Comeback Trail are here.  Ignore the poster and check out the trailer.

Two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their aging movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. But they wind up getting more than they ever imagined.

Starring Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, Zach Braff, Emile Hirsch, Eddie Griffin & Kate Katzman.

Directed by George Gallo

“Columbo” Trivia!

My wife and I have been watching Columbo quite a bit lately.  Since the show is available on several networks throughout the week, we’ve been DVRing them all to watch at our convenience.

I watched Columbo pretty regularly when it first aired, but I was at the age where I missed more than a few due to other priorities.  My wife never really tuned in.  We’re both enjoying the show now.  It’s fun to see the number of stars appearing as the murderer (or murdered) and even more fun spotting future stars getting their first breaks as a background player.

The fine folks at MeTV posted 13 Little Details You Probably Missed in Columbo.  It’s a fun piece you’d probably enjoy even if you don’t watch Columbo.  Before you click over here are three of my favorites and my thoughts (but for the full details click over)!

Columbo does secretly reveal his first name, once.

(This was a surprise to me.  I didn’t think Columbo’s first name was ever revealed.  In fact we just watched an episode where Columbo was flat out asked his first name.  His response was something to the effect of only his wife uses it and everyone else calls him, “Columbo”. But thanks to MeTV, now we know! – Craig)

The author from the first episode has books in later mysteries.

(I love this.  It shows that the people who made the series were paying attention to what went on before, and it creates a universe for Columbo that feels real. – Craig)

Captain Kirk makes a cameo.

(Ha!  This is a great trivia item.  Captain Kirk makes a cameo. Not William Shatner – he guest stars, but Captain Kirk appears in the same show.  Eagle eyed viewers would catch that.  I’ll be on the lookout when I see the episode. – Craig) 

Silent Films, Anyone?

I wonder how many reading this can name all three of the gentlemen above?  Probably just about everyone knows Charlie Chaplin (far right), but the other two?  The man in the middle is Buster Keaton and the guy leading the pack is Lon Chaney.  These men were the stars of their day, when movies had no sound.

My guess is we lost a few readers when they saw the title of this post and even more dropped off before getting this far.  If you’re reading now you’re hopefully either a fan of silent movies or are open to checking some out.  As for me, I’m a fan.  

Most folks who like silent movies started with the comedies.  There were so many made by greats such as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel & Hardy and Fatty Arbuckle.  The great thing about silent film comedy is that most of the gags are ageless.  The first silent movies I remember seeing were comedies, but my enjoyment of silent film really took off with the discovery of silent horror movies.

Lon Chaney was the king of silent horror films starring in classics such as The Phantom of the Opera, The Unknown, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and so many others.  Chaney was equally adept in crime films and dramas.  Known as The Man of 1,000 Faces, Chaney created his own make-up for each role.  If you lean more to horror, crime films and dramas, then Lon Chaney is the star to look for.

If comedy is more to your liking, then I’d suggest checking out Buster Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr., The General or Sherlock, Jr.  Perhaps you want to go to the best known silent film star, Charlie Chaplin.  My suggestions for you would be The Kid, The Circus, Shoulder Arms or almost any of Chaplin’s work in silent films.  Charlie Chaplin is one of the few silent film stars who transitioned to talkies and continued to be successful.

TCM is a great source for silent films.  I recorded and have been making my way through many of Charlie Chaplin’s films that are new to me.  TCM runs silent films each week late on Sunday night and at various times throughout each month.  Check your listings and give some a go.  You, of course can also find great silent movies on other channels, streaming and dvd.

If you’re a fan of silent films or check some out, let me know your thoughts and send some recommendations my way.  Don’t be silent about your favorites.  ; )

“One of Those Days” by Yehuda & Maya Devir

I recently discovered (very late to this party) the web comic One of Those Days by Yehuda and Maya Devir.  With a wonderfully fun art style, the jokes hit home and leave you looking forward to their next installment.

Based on the wildly popular webcomic, One of Those Days chronicles the life and love of Yehuda and Maya Devir as they take on the minutiae of marriage, the ups and downs of daily life, and the paradigm shift of new parenthood.

Yehuda and Maya Devir began illustrating their life in comics when they moved into their first apartment together in Tel Aviv as newlyweds. In the years since, One of Those Days has become one of the biggest webcomics on the Internet, with millions of followers around the world. Yehuda Devir grew up on superhero comic books, and the Devirs’ visual style is downright kinetic and bursting with life.

In this collection—the first time that the Devirs’ comics have been compiled in one volume—they share stories that are heartwarming, hilarious, and universally recognizable. So even for those who don’t feel like pulling out an assault rifle to wage war on a kitchen cockroach, the Devirs’ challenges and triumphs are instantly familiar to anyone who’s had one of those days.

Nick Murray Willis presents the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of All Time Animated! 

Nick Murray Willis presents the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of All Time Animated!  There are a lot of smiles in the video.

My favorite is from Gladiator.  You’ll also get a kick out of “You Shall Not Pass!”  And, of course, we have “Yo! Adrian!  I did it!” Check out the video below for all 100…

“Airplane” Trivia

I saw Airplane in a packed theater when it was initially released.  The laughter was non-stop.  Airplane is a film that benefits from a crowd.  I’ve watched it several times since and the bigger the crowd the bigger the laughs.   Airplane is still worth a watch either alone or with others.

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 31 Things We Learned from the ‘Airplane!’ Commentary.   Before you click over, here are three of my favorite comments…

These early drafts (of the script) were initially titled The Late Show as they intended to include their commercial gags as well with the spoof movie itself being filler. They brought it to Lloyd Schwartz who suggested that the airplane story was “funnier and more interesting” than the commercial spoofs.

(I think that they were wise to drop the commercial gags.  Playing it straight made for a much funnier film. – Craig)

Lloyd Bridges had a lot of questions trying to understand his character, his motivation, and his dialogue, and Robert Stack pointed out that the visual gags were so frequent and nonsensical that no one in the audience was going to care. “Lloyd, we are the joke,” said Stack to Lloyd.

(Can you imagine you’re the director prepping the scene and Bridges wants to discuss background and motivation for his, “I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue” line? – Craig)

Stack was apparently offered a percentage of the film or an extra $20k, and he chose poorly.

($20K in the hand or a percentage on a risky film with Hollywood bookkeeping?  Not an easy choice. – Craig)

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out / Z-View

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a four-issue mini-series and paperback published by Dark Horse Comics. .

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Gyula Nemeth
Colorist: Gyula Nemeth
Letters by: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Artist: Gyula Nemeth 

*** Beware – spoilers may be found below ***

I first became aware of Steve Niles nearly two decades ago.  Niles was the author of two novels (Savage Membrane and Guns, Drugs & Monsters) featuring Cal McDonald that I highly recommend.

McDonald is a tough as nails detective who deals with things that go bump in the night. After the two novels, McDonald appeared in a number of comic book mini-series written by Niles teaming with different artists.  And that brings us to Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out

Supernatural detective Cal McDonald, found wandering the streets as a disheveled vagrant, is ripped from his self-imposed retirement to resume his monster-killing career.

But Cal is reluctant to return to the fray. What has the hard-bitten investigator so shaken? It’s a long story that begins with a beautiful woman who happens to be a vampire . . . and ends with a bang.

It’s great to have Cal McDonald back.  Who doesn’t love a cynical tough guy who sees the real monsters that walk among us?

The Big Bleed Out follows McDonald as he meets and begins to fall for a mysterious woman who happens to be a vampire.  The romance doesn’t seem to have much of a chance since McDonald is normally a vampire killer.  Meanwhile, Mo’Lock, McDonald’s quasi partner, has gone into the sewers of LA to see if he can discover who/what is down there killing people.

Being a Cal McDonald fan I was excited to see his return.  This was my first time seeing Nemeth’s art and I liked quite a bit of what he brought to the table.  It was interesting to see McDonald falling under the spell of a vampiress and unintentionally venturing into a nest of them.  The romance and its eventual outcome moved at a pretty quick pace with a few surprises along the way.  And let’s not forget that Mo’Lock has his hands full with a sewer monster!  Overall, this was a fun read.

Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out is a nice addition to the Cal McDonald universe.


Rating: