Monday, May 31, 2010

Doctor Who 2010: "Vincent and the Doctor"

Terror lurks in the cornfields of Provence, but only Vincent Van Gogh can see it, as the time-traveling drama continues with an episode written by Richard Curtis.

The Doctor is played by Matt Smith and Amy Pond by Karen Gillan. Guest-starring Tony Curran as Vincent Van Gogh and Bill Nighy as Dr Black.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies - "The Sin of Harold Diddlebock"

Made in 1947 as a continuation of Harold Lloyd's classic, "The Freshman," produced by Howard Hughes and directed by Preston Sturges, "The Sin of Harold Diddlebock" was so badly received that it was pulled, re-edited, and re-release in 1950 as "Mad Wednesday." It didn't do too well that time either.

It's a shame because this film has a lot going for it. Don't believe me? In 1951 Harold Lloyd (who never starred in a film again) received a Golden Globe nomination as best actor, and the film was nominated for the Grand Prize at Cannes that year.

I think it's a bittersweet comedy with some truly beautiful and funny scenes. But decide for yourself -- here is "The Sin of Harold Diddlebock."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons - "Monkey Melodies" and "Night"

From 1930 Silly Symphonies, "Monkey Melodies."

And from the same year - Silly Symphonies, "Night." (Thanks to Cartoon Shorts Club for making these available.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Trailer Wednesdays - "Countdown to Zero"

"Countdown to Zero" traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. Written and directed by Lucy Walker (The Devils Playground, Blindsight), the film features an array of important international statesmen, including President Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Pervez Musharraf and Tony Blair.

"Countdown to Zero" opens July 23rd.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Doctor Who 2010: "Cold Blood"

It is the most important day in the history of Earth: the dawn of a new age of harmony or the start of its final war.

In the latest episode of the time-travelling drama, written by Chris Chibnall, The Doctor must face his most difficult challenge yet. It is a battle in which he cannot take sides and a day when nobody must die...

The Doctor is played by Matt Smith, Rory is played by Arthur Darvill, and Amy Pond is played by Karen Gillan. Meera Syal guest stars.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies - "M - Eine Stadt einen Moerder"

From 1931, a classic horror/thriller, "M" tells of the hunt for a child murderer and was based on the case of actual serial killer, Peter Kurten. This was Peter Lorre's first starring role and his disturbing performance made him famous. Directed by Fritz Lang.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons - "Booby Traps" and "The Home Front"

Here are two of the Private SNAFU ('Situation Normal, All F***ed Up) cartoons made by the US Army Signal Corps to educate and boost the morale the troops. Originally created by Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Phil Eastman, the cartoons were produced by Warner Brothers Animation.

Note: These cartoons were made for GIs and are a little risque. Not recommended for the little ones.

Booby Traps:

The Home Front:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Doctor Who 2010: "The Hungry Earth"

It's 2015 and the most ambitious drilling project in history has reached deeper beneath the Earth's crust than man has ever gone before – but now the ground itself is fighting back. In the latest episode of the time-travelling drama, the Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in a tiny mining village and find themselves plunged into a battle against a deadly danger from a bygone age.

With Matt Smith as The Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as Rory.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies: "Gulliver's Travels" 1939

From 1939 here is the second animated film ever released (the first being Snow White). Made by Max and Dave Fleischer for Paramount, "Gulliver's Travels" was a box office success and lead to the brothers producing a second feature, "Mr. Bug Goes to Town." "Mr. Bug" was a box office flop due to bad timing -- it opened two days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Here is the Fleischers' most successful film, "Gulliver Travels:"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons - "Chicken ala King" and "Wolf ! Wolf!"

The Max Fleischer Color Classic - "Chicken ala King."

and Mighty Mouse in "Wolf! Wolf!":

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Trailer Wednesdays - "OSS 117: Rio Ne Répond Plus

Released in France last year "OSS 117: Rio Ne Repond Plus" is making the rounds in the US. (Here in Los Angeles it's at the NuArt.) Based on an actual series of straight spy novels by Jean Bruce, the OSS 117 films (this is the second) are wicked parodies featuring clueless french secret agent, Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath played by great Jean Dujardin. This entry features Nazis and Luchadores...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Doctor Who 2010 - Amy's Choice

It's been five years since Amy Pond last traveled with the Doctor, and when he lands in her garden again, on the eve of the birth of her first child, she finds herself facing a heartbreaking choice – one that will change her life for ever.

Stars Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Arthur Darvill as Rory, and Toby Jones as the Dreamlord.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies: "The Thief of Bagdad" (1924)

Voted ninth in the AFI's Top Ten Fantasy Films, "The Thief of Bagdad" was one of the most expensive films made in the 1920s, costing an estimate two million dollars. It features Douglas Fairbanks Sr. as Ahmed the thief who goes on fantastic adventures to rescue his princess from a mongol warlord. (Note: this version has Spanish subtitles.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Gabby in "King for a Day" and "Two for the Zoo."

Here's two of the Gabby series of the cartoons made by the Fleischers. First "King for a Day":

and now "Two for the Zoo":

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Trailer Wednesdays - I Am Love

Stars Tilda Swinton. Opens in the US on June 18th.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doctor Who 2010 - Vampires of Venice

From the BBC:

Corpses and terror fill the canals as the Doctor, Amy and Rory visit 16th Century Venice.

With Matt Smith as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, and Arthur Darvill as Rory. Written by Toby Whithouse (Being Human).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday Night at the Movies: "D.O.A."

"I want to report a murder..."

Released in 1950 DOA is a movie with a terrific premise: a poisoned man searches for his murderer before he dies. Written by screenwriting partners Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene and starring Edmund O'Brien and Pamela Britton DOA is considered a film noir classic. It's been remade twice and was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday Morning Cartoons: "Hunky and Spunky" and "You can't shoe a Horsefly"

Here are two of the Fleischers' "Hunky and Spunky" cartoons. The first is the initial cartoon "Hunky and Spunky" from 1938. It was nominated for an animation Oscar. The bull's song has been stuck in the back of my mind ever since I saw this as a child.

From 1940 "You can't shoe a horsefly:"