Category: TV

RIP: Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of the greatest boxers in the history of the sport, died unexpectedly yesterday at the age of 66.  The announcement was made by his wife and no cause of death was given.  

Hagler, whose professional boxing record was 62 – 3 – 2, with 52 wins by knockout, dominated the middleweight division from the time he won the title on September 27, 1980 until his controversial split decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard on April 6, 1987.  Along the way, Hagler beat anyone they put in front of him including all the great middleweights of the era – Alan Minter, Vito Antuofermo, Mustafa Hamsho, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns and many others.

Hagler’s fight with Tommy Hearns lasted less than 3 rounds, but is considered by many fight fans to be not only the most exciting fight in boxing history, but it also contains the most exciting round ever.  Hagler won the fight by a TKO before the end of the third round.

Hagler lost the title in a controversial split decision to Sugar Ray Leonard.  Leonard who was warned for holding in every round, fought in spurts and did enough in two judges’ eyes to win.  Fight enthusiasts and reporters were split in their opinions as to who should have won the fight with an extremely slight majority favoring Hagler.  Although one would think that a title fight decided on such a razor-thin margin would demand an immediate rematch, it never happened.  Leonard announced his retirement, despite Hagler’s request for a rematch.  Hagler waited for the Leonard to change his mind, but when after 14 months that didn’t happen, Hagler officially retired.  A month later, Leonard announced a comeback against another fighter.  By this point, Hagler was done with boxing for good and moved to Italy where he starred in action movies.

Marvelous Marvin Hagler was named Fighter of the Decade (1980s) by Boxing Illustrated magazine.  He was the Boxing Writers Association of America Fighter of the Year for 1983 and 1985 and Ring Magazine’s Fighter of the Year for 1983 and 1985.  Marvelous Marvin Hagler was inducted into both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993.

I was a huge Marvelous Marvin Hagler fan.  Hagler was a fighter’s fighter.  I watched Hagler’s fights on television and pay-per-view.  Hagler provided so many great evenings spent with family watching him perform.  His fight against Tommy Hearns is perhaps the most exciting boxing match in the history of the sport.  I have a post scheduled for Tuesday (written a few days ago) in which I spotlight Marvelous Marvin Hagler as one of my choices to be in a group of “men’s men”, little knowing that he would pass on before the post would ever be published.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Marvelous Marvin Hagler’s family, friends and fans.  

Eddie Muller’s Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is Getting a Revised & Expanded Hardcover Edition!

Fans of film noir will be excited to learn that Eddie Muller’s classic Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir is getting a revised and expanded hard cover edition!

This revised and expanded edition of Eddie Muller’s Dark City is a film noir lover’s bible, taking readers on a tour of the urban landscape of the grim and gritty genre in a definitive, highly illustrated volume.

Dark City expands with new chapters and a fresh collection of restored photos that illustrate the mythic landscape of the imagination. It’s a place where the men and women who created film noir often find themselves dangling from the same sinister heights as the silver-screen avatars to whom they gave life. Eddie Muller, host of Turner Classic Movies’ Noir Alley, takes readers on a spellbinding trip through treacherous terrain: Hollywood in the post-World War II years, where art, politics, scandal, style — and brilliant craftsmanship — produced a new approach to moviemaking, and a new type of cultural.

I’ve already pre-ordered mine.  You can too, if you’re so inclined.  Here is the Amazon link (at a discounted price).

Eddie Muller has teamed with Larry Edmund’s Bookshop in Hollywood California to provide autographed copies that will also contain an exclusive graphic stamp.  These copies can be ordered here.

When Actors Return to Play Their Most Popular Characters

MeTV posted an interesting piece called 9 Times Actors Revived Their Beloved TV Characters Long After the Show was Over.  It’s always interesting when this happens since it is like trying to recapture lighting in a bottle.  It is hard to recreate the magic.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  Before you click over, here are my three favorites from their list and my thoughts to go with each…

  • Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden.  (I’m a huge fan of the original Honeymooners series from the 50s.  I fondly remember watching reruns of the show with my grandparents.  I have the original 39 episodes on dvd and still watch ’em.  I haven’t seen any of the Honeymooners reunion specials, but would love to… even if they don’t live up to the high bar set by the original series. – Craig)
  • Leonard Nimoy as Spock.  (I’m a fan of the original Star Trek series,  I’ve seen the movies with the original crew as well as the rebooted Star Trek featuring Kirk, Spock and McCoy.  I’ve not watched any of the Star Trek spin offs.  I loved seeing Leonard Nimoy return to play Spock in the  J.J. Abrams’ reboot! This was a revisit that worked! – Craig)
  • Peter Falk as Columbo.  (I’m not sure this should really count as a revisit since Falk continued to play Columbo in movies over the years.  I’ve seen all of the Falk Columbo‘s and what a joy it is to see the same actor play the same character over a span of 30+ years.  Revisit or not, it doesn’t get better. – Craig)

Although it didn’t make the list, The Wild, Wild West is perhaps my all-time favorite tv show,  It ran for 104 episodes over four seasons starting in 1965 and ending in 1969.  There were two tv movie revisits: The Wild Wild West Revisited (1979) and More Wild Wild West (1980).  I remember being disappointed in them, but plan to, uh, revisit them someday. – Craig)

RIP: Frank Lupo

It has been announced that Frank Lupo, the creator, writer and producer of many popular television series, died on February 17, 2021, at the age of 66.  No cause of death was given.  Lupo started as a writer on Battlestar Galactica and BJ and the Bear.  Lupo then teamed with Stephen Cannell to create The Greatest American Hero, Hunter, Riptide and my personal favorite, Wiseguy.  Other productions that Lupo was involved in as a writer or producer include The A-Team, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Magnum, PI and those are just the highlights.  What a career!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frank Lupo’s family, friends and fans. 

 

“Star Trek: The Animated Series” Trivia

I’m a fan of the original Star Trek series that ran on NBC from September 8, 1966, to June 3, 1969.  79 episodes aired before it was cancelled.  Dedicated fans of Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), McCoy (DeForest Kelley) and the rest of the crew made Star Trek so popular in syndication that Star Trek: The Animated Series was created in 1973.  The animated series ran for 22 episodes over two seasons.   

The fine folks at MeTV have posted 12 Fascinating Facts about Star Trek: The Animated Series.  Before you click over for the full story, here are my thoughts on three of my favorite facts…

Leonard Nimoy demanded that Nichelle Nichols and George Takei were cast.  (The budget for Star Trek: The  Animated Series, like most cartoon series of this era wasn’t huge. There wasn’t enough in the budget to bring back Walter Koenig who played Chekov.  Some members of the cast had to provide the voices for multiple characters.  Hats off to Leonard Nimoy for taking a stand to keep Nichols and Takei on board. – Craig)

It was the first Star Trek series to win an Emmy award. (This is surprising since most folks would figure that the original series would have won at least one Emmy along the way. – Craig)

Filmation originally wanted the series to be about adolescent Starfleet cadets. (I’m really glad that this idea didn’t win out.  Star Trek: The Animated Series provided more proof that the original series was still popular with fans and helped pave the way for the big budget Star Trek feature films with the original cast returning. – Craig)

RIP: Joan Weldon

Joan Weldon’s family announced yesterday that the singer and actress, died on February 11, 2021, at the age of 90.  No cause of death was given.

Weldon was best known for her co-starring role in the sci-fi, horror classic Them!  Weldon’s career began her singing in the San Francisco Grand Opera Company. She later sang in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and on Broadway,  Weldon’s acting career began in 1953.  She appeared in eleven films and made eleven guest appearances on television shows including roles on Cheyenne, Perry Mason, Have Gun Will Travel and Maverick.

After her acting career, Weldon returned to her first love, singing. She appeared in many road show productions including The Music Man and Oklahoma.  Joan Weldon retired in 1980.

I had no idea that Joan Weldon was a singer.  I knew her best from her role in Them!  I thought she was excellent.  I appreciate that she came off as smart (if not smarter) than the men in the movie and she wasn’t there to be saved.  Weldon’s career in movies and television was relatively short, but what an impact she made.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.

“Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan” – The Trailer is Here!

Age of Samurai: Battle for Japan is another documentary coming to Netflix.  It is also another documentary that I plan to watch.

As a brutal civil war rages across 16th century Japan, powerful samurai warriors rise up to crush their rivals and become the first leader in almost a century to reunite the nation and rule all of Japan. Many will rise, most will fall, and one will build a dynasty that will stand for over two centuries.

RIP: Peter S. Davis

Peter S. Davis, best known as the producer of the Highlander movie, television and video game franchise died on February 21st.  Mr. Davis was 79.

Peter S. Davis was CEO and President of Davis-Panzer Productions (DPP) and Davis Merchandising.  He was a former lawyer on Wall Street as well as an  entrepreneur who owned several business’ outside of movie-making.  Davis began his Hollywood career in 1976 as an Executive Producer of The Death Collector which featured Joe Pesci in a co-starring role.  Davis followed that up as Executive Producer of the movie Stunts starring Robert Forester and Ray Sharkey.  Peter Davis was producer of Sam Peckinpah’s last film (The Osterman Weekend) as well as one of Brad Pitt’s first films (Cutting Class), but it is the Highlander series where Davis made his biggest and best contribution.

Davis pushed to get Highlander to the big screen.  He is also credited for getting Sean Connery in the co-starring role that gave the film gravitas.  The success of Highlander created a franchise that included a sequel, an animated series, a television series, tv movies and video games.

The original Highlander film is one of my all-time favorite films.  Everything from the screenplay to the acting, direction and soundtrack/score came together.  Although I wasn’t a fan of the sequel and didn’t get into the other Highlander ventures, I am such a fan of the original Highlander film, if that was the only contribution that Peter S. Davis made in his career, it would be worth noting here.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Peter S. Davis’ family, friends and fans.

“Murder Among Mormons” – The Trailer is Here!

Murder Among Mormons looks to be another interesting documentary on Netflix.  I plan to tune in.

Murder Among the Mormons is the first comprehensive look at one of the most shocking crimes to have ever taken place among the Mormon community and the criminal mastermind behind it all. The three-part documentary series directed by Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) and Tyler Measom (An Honest Liar), examines a trio of bombings in 1985 that killed two people and shocked Salt Lake City. The murders send further shockwaves through the community when a trove of early Mormon letters and diaries are found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, a renowned collector of rare documents, including the infamous White Salamander Letter — an artifact whose contents threatened to shake the very foundations of Mormonism. As he fights for his life, investigators race to uncover the truth.

“Debris” – The Full Trailer is Here!

We saw the Debris teaser trailer here.  Now we have the full length trailer.  Yep, Debris looks interesting and I’ll give it a shot.

Every piece holds the power to change our world. Jonathan Tucker, Riann Steele, Norbert Leo Butz and Scroobius Pip star in Debris, a new mystery premiering Monday, March 1 at 10/9c on NBC.

“The Lost Pirate Kingdom” Trailer is Here!

The Lost Pirate Kingdom trailer is below.  Honestly, it doesn’t look great, but there is something about it that makes me want to see the documentary series.  I’m not sure why.  I’m not overly fond of Pirates.  I’ve seen the Johnny Depp movies (most of ’em, anyway… I think).  I guess it is the documentary aspect that appeals to me.  I want to know more about how pirates really were.

The real-life pirates of the Caribbean violently plunder the world’s riches and form a surprisingly egalitarian republic in this documentary series.

Sybil Danning / Paul Gulacy / Bill Black and Me

The Black Diamond comics shown above each feature a cover drawn by Paul Gulacy.  A fan of the series and actress Sybil Danning recently posted the covers on Twitter with this response…

I responded to his Tweet with, “Funny story – I was Bill Black’s connection for both Paul Gulacy & Sybil Danning!”

I thought I had told that story here before but a search of the site indicates I didn’t… until now.  Let me take you back to 1980…

It’s about 10 at night and I’m watching tv.  The phone rings and I answer.  The voice on the other end asks to speak to “Mr. ZAB-blow.”  Dead giveaway that he doesn’t know me since he mispronounces my name. (For the record it sounds like ZAY-BLOW.)  I think he’s a nervy sales guy and am ready to hang up when he says, he got my name from a Bill Black publication that listed me as an editor.  The guy wants to get in touch with Bill Black.

Little does this guy know, my editing amounted to either putting Bill in touch with artists or copies of convention sketches.  My biggest contribution in this area was that I introduced Bill to Paul Gulacy.  Paul was my favorite artist, we talked fairly regularly and I had commissioned a few pieces from Paul.  Bill wanted to get Paul to do some art for him.

Ah, but back to the Sybil Danning phone call.

The guy says that he couldn’t find any phone number for Bill, but he was able to locate mine.  I tell the guy, that I can’t give out Bill’s number but would be glad to take a message for him.  The guy proceeds to tell me he is Sybil Danning’s manager.  He asks if I know who she is.  I do.  He says that they want to do a comic with Sybil as the main character.  They want Bill to publish it.  I take his number and tell the guy I’ll pass Bill the info.  We hang up and I go back to watching whatever I was watching.

I’m pretty sure it was the next day that I reached out to Bill to let him know that I had received a call from a guy saying he was Sybil Danning’s manager and they wanted to do a comic with him.  If you know Bill, you know how enthusiastic he gets.  Bill begins rapid fire asking questions, “When did he call – do I have his number – why didn’t I call him last night to tell him – etc.”  I explain to Bill it was late, I don’t know if the guy is on the level, etc.

Needless to say, Bill was able to contact Danning’s manager and the rest is history.

Seung Eun Kim – Check Out This Artist’s Work!

I can’t remember the last time I came across a new (to me) artist whose work excites me as much as Seung Eun Kim.  Check out Kim’s childhood heroes drawing above.  Not only does he have excellent taste in heroes, but man, that art!

Usually I will post one piece of art with a link to the artist’s site, but there were so many candidates for posting on Seung Eun Kim’s Instagram that I just had to post two… and which two to post was a tough decision.  Click over and you’ll see what I mean.