Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Saturday Morning Cartoons Revisited

(By Richard Goodman, 20 June 2018)

I’m off from work today, so for fun I decided to watch some classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the 1970’s.  Some of the selections are shows I fondly remember.  Others are things I don’t recall ever seeing before, which is odd because with only three television channels you’d think I would have watched everything possible.  Maybe even back then scheduling conflicts kept me from watching stuff- for instance, if The Superfriends was on, I’m sure I wouldn’t have switched over to another channel.  I do have some thoughts about this selection of cartoons which might be contrary to my thoughts when I was a kid:
Scooby Doo is the template for many of the Hanna Barbera shows- the group of precious teenagers, the funny humanistic pet, “The Mystery Machine” van, solving crime, spooky ghosts, running in and out of doors and rooms in a house, and so on.  If you didn’t watch Scooby, you missed out on a childhood pleasure and probably never watched cartoons.  This episode has the cameo kings of the 1970s- The Harlem Globetrotters- and a ghost pirate ship and a spooky inn.

I remember watching Yogi Bear as a kid but the episode of “Yogi’s Gang” here is weird.  It has Yogi, Boo Boo, and other Yogi friends like Snaggle Puss and Huckleberry Hound but they are on a flying ark!  And they get attacked in mid-air by a greedy genie riding a giant flying lamp.  It’s a decent episode about greed and what is really important in life but I still can’t get over the flying ark!  Was a van too passé?  If this was a recurring thing, I either didn’t watch this show or blocked out the ark out of my mind.
Goober & the Ghost Chasers sounds familiar but I don’t recall watching it regularly and after seeing this episode I must applaud my younger self’s taste.  This is an awful Scooby Doo knock-off- a group of friends and a dog travel around in a van and solve mysteries.    And for some reason, the dog turns invisible when frightened.  And this is not a big deal! 

Amazing Chan And The Chan Clan – seems to be based on Charlie Chan but it also throws in a Scooby Doo type crime solving group of kids along with a Josie & The Pussycats musical interlude with the kids at the beginning of the episode.  For some reason the theme song is not sung- it is whispered.  Bizarre.  This episode has them running around England looking for some thieves who stole a royal artifact from the royal palace.  Of course, a suit of armor comes to life and chases the kids around the palace.  Yep, Scooby DNA right there and for the Josie template they close with another musical number by the kids, although the Asian kids in the band don’t sound very Asian on the song.
The Roman Holidays- I have absolutely no recollection of this ever existing.  It seems like a knock-off of The Flintstones but with a Roman theme.  The family pet in this one is, of course, a lion.  The family is a bit more upper class though.  The guys all look like either Fred Flintstone or Shaggy / Fred from Scooby Doo and the women all look like Ann Margaret or Jane Russell.   It could be that Hanna-Barbera used the same animation studio for all their shows so they have a similar look to them.  It’s not too bad, for a kid’s cartoon.

There was also an episode of Batman and Robin.  All I can say about that episode and that permutation of a Batman series is who the heck thought Bat Mite was a good idea?  Bat Mite spent the whole episode creating havoc and putting the heroes in danger by ignoring Batman’s orders.  Then when Batman or Robin or both chewed him out, he started crying and saying he would leave until the heroes calmed him down and made him promise to listen to them.   Then 15 seconds later he ignored his promise.  Bat Mite is beyond useless and annoying.  He is Scrappy Doo times ten.
Josie & the Pussycats is like a female driven version of Scooby Doo but with several gratuitous musical segments thrown in at various points during the show.  Everyone knows about this show and probably fondly remembers it.  This episode has them meeting Captain Nemo and preventing him from sinking all the ships he encounters.  I think Casey Kasem, the voice of Shaggy from Scooby Doo, also voices a character on this show.

The Funky Phantom is similar to all the other Scooby rip-off shows except that here one of the people in the group of mystery solving friends is the ghost of a Revolutionary War solider and his ghost cat.  The ghost is weirdly voiced by the person who also voiced SnagglePuss but the ghost is the most likable person in the group.  The other characters are either vain, obnoxious or bullies.  OMG- the villain in this episode, the “ghost” of Jean Laffite, just said “I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids”!  Talk about a Scooby wanna-be!  I kinda remember watching this show but it wasn’t a favorite.

Speed Buggy was just awful.  There is no need to discuss it, much less to ever watch it.
Hong Kong Phooey, voiced by Scatman Crothers, features the incompetent but lovable janitor slash martial arts superhero Hong Kong Phooey.  I didn’t remember him as being this gullible and lucky but it is still an amusing show.
I still want to see episodes of some other Hanna-Barbera shows I remember watching and loving, like Space Ghost, The Herculoids, Atom Ant, The Banana Splits, but this was a fun way to pass a couple hours inside with the AC on during a steamy summer day.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Movie Review Haiku

Roman J. Isreal, ESQ
Principled lawyer
Sacrificed career then soul
Goes unrewarded

Murder On The Orient Express
A graphic murder
Glamourous suspects onboard
More screen time needed

Thor: Ragnorak
Two dumb superheroes
The universe in their hands
Amusingly, it works

3 Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri
Dormant murder case
None then multiple suspects
No one goes unscathed

Lifeguard characters
Acting dumber than you’d think
Waste of my brain cells

Scariest hero
Made even guys sorta cry  
In modern Western

Justice League
So many heroes
Same standard plot, fights, ending
Should copy Marvel

Baby Driver
Action musical
Baby: good anti-hero.
Love beats all, even psychos?

Wrecking Crew (Documentary)
Session musicians
Played on half of 60’s hits
Best “band” ever

John Wick 2
Keanu, bad actor,
Plays silent, lethal hitman.
Great action movie

This next one I haven't seen yet since it doesn't come out until the 22nd but this is the Haiku review I'm hoping I will be able write:

Pitch Perfect 3
Charming first movie
Underwhelming second one
This ends with aplomb?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Random Thoughts (09-03-17)

(By Richard Goodman, 03 September 2017)

When I go to my bank to cash a check, I give them the signed check and my ID yet they still want me to present a credit card, possibly as additional identification.  Why? They have my ID- why isn't that good enough?  What if I didn't have a credit card- would I not be able to cash a check anymore?  The kicker is once my bank transaction is done, they say "Thank you for being a customer for 27 years."  That doesn't get me any special consideration AND it makes me feel really old.  Thanks for that.  I blame all the criminals and idiots for adding extra layers of documentation and red tape to my life. 

Another example- although I like that chips are being added to credit cards, the reason it is being done is because crooks made regular old magnetic strips too easy to steal.  They are why I have to insert my chip card into a reader at a grocery store and wait for it to process and then get loudly beeped at when I don't remove my card the exact second the sale is done.  I'm not really going off on a tangent because I'm angry about this, I'm just mildly annoyed and don't have anywhere to vent about this.  With the fate of the world up for grabs every day, how do life's little inconveniences get soothed? 

Stand-up comedians used to handle that for me, but now they all discuss either sex or politics.  Which can often be funny but I want some catharsis about credit card angst, cell phone culture and Taylor Swift's new songs (Shame on you Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry- Look what you made her do!).  You know, the little stuff.  Where is comedian Mitch Hedberg when I need him to make me laugh about stupid stuff?  I guess I'll have to get by with Whitney Cummings and Jim Gaffigan. 

This is what goes through my head on a Sunday afternoon when I'm sitting around listening to new albums from KMFDM and Queens Of The Stone Age, eating cashews and Toll House cookie dough, making a list about the best heist and con movies of all time, looking over my Amazon wish list for other things to listen to, and deciding if I want to see a movie in the theater and if so, which one since there were no new "big" movies released this holiday weekend, for the first time in 25 years, or stay home and watch the U.S. Open (the tennis one). Such first world problems. 

Now I have to decide if this is too stupid to post to Facebook and should go on my mostly-MIA-in-the-last-couple-years blog instead.  And if I want pizza or salad for supper, although Ben & Jerry's "One Love" banana ice cream might be in contention too.  And shrimp in some fashion.  And ciabatta rolls with cheese.    Is this cookie dough laced with something that's making me delirious?

Sunday, June 4, 2017

My Entertainment Favorites In 2016

2016 Rank Movie/Book/CD Title Stars/Author/Band Media Type Delivery Method Release Year
1 When You Reach Me Rebecca Stead Book Book 2009
2 Field Guide To Awkward Silences Alexandra Petri Book Book 2016
3 Murder On the Orient Express Agatha Christie Book Book 1933
4 Pippi Goes On Board Astrid Lindgren Book Book 1946
5 School For Sidekicks Kelly McCullough Book Book 2015
6 Heist Society Ally Carter Book Book 2016
7 The Pursuit Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg Book Book 2016
8 The Scam Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg Book Book 2015
9 Toured To Death Hy Conrad Book Book 2016
10 Vanishing Games Roger Hobbs Book Book 2015
11 Lullaby (Spenser Novel) Ace Atkins Book Book 2013
12 Encyclopedia Brown (several titles) David J. Sobol Book Book Various
13 You're Never Weird On The Internet (Almost) Felicia Day Book Book 2015
14 Bossy Pants Tina Fey Book Book 2011
15 City Dog Allison Pace Book Book 2008
16 Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Ransom Riggs Book Book 2016
17 Pearls Gone Wild Diane Vallere Book Manuscript 2016
18 This Doesn't Happen In The Movies Renee Pawlish Book Download 2013
19 Boxcar Children, The Gertrude Chandler Warner Book Book 1942
20 Little Prince, The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Book Book 1943
21 Grand Theft Retro Diane Vallere Book Book 2016
22 Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich Adam Rex Book Book 2006
1 Batman Vs Superman Greatest Battles Jim Lee, John Byrne, Miller Comic Book 2015
2 Injustice Gods Among Us Year 02 Vol 01 Hc    Comic Book 2016
2 Injustice Gods Among Us Year 02 Vol 02 Hc    Comic Book 2016
2 Injustice Gods Among Us Year 03 Vol 01 Hc    Comic Book 2016
2 Injustice Gods Among Us Year 03 Vol 02 Tp   Comic Book 2016
2 Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 01 Vol 01    Comic Book 2015
2 Injustice: Gods Among Us Year 01 Vol 02    Comic Book 2015
3 Rat Queens (Vol 1 & 2) Kurtis Wiebe, Roc Upchurch Comic Book 2016
4 Camelot 3000 M. Barr, B. Bolland Comic Book 2008
5 Batman: Harley Quinn Paula Dini,  Comic Book 2015
6 Harley Quinn And Power Girl  Amanda Conner Comic Book 2015
7 Mystery Girl Vol 01 Tp    Comic Book 2016
8 Suicide Squad (2011) Vol 01 Kicked In The Teeth Tp   Comic Book 2016
9 Suicide Squad (2011) Vol 02 Basilisk Rising Tp   Comic Book 2016
10 Supergirl (2005): Vol 01 The Girl Of Steel   Comic Book 2015
11 Civil War TP   Superheroes Comic Book 2007
12 Civil War: Wolverine   Comic Book 2016
13 Ant Man Michelinie, Byrne, Perez Comic Book 2015
14 Harley Quinn Vol. 5: The Joker's Last Laugh Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti Comic Book 2016
15 Lazarus:  Vol 03- Conclave   Comic Book 2015
16 Lazarus:  Vol 4- Poison   Comic Book 2015
17 Jessica Jones Alias Vol 03 TP Bendis, Gaydos,  Comic Book 2015
18 Jessica Jones Pulse Complete Collection Bendis, Gaydos,  Comic Book 2015
19 Jessica Jones: Alias- Vol. 4  Bendis, Gaydos,  Comic Book 2016
20 Harley Quinn (2014) Vol 01 Hot In The City Tp Amanda Connor Comic Book 2016
21 Harley Quinn (2014) Vol 02 Power Outage Tp Amanda Connor Comic Book 2016
22 Jennifer Blood: Vol 1 & 2 Garth Ennis, etc… Comic Book 2012
23 Wonder Woman (2011) Vol 07 War Torn Tp   Comic Book 2015
24 Death Sentence Monty Nero,  Comic Book 2014
25 Tomb Raider: Vol 03 Queen Of Serpents   Comic Book 2015
1 Concert: Tom Jones   Concert Theater 2016
2 Concert: Aimee Mann's Christmas Show Aimee Mann, Liz Phair Concert Theater 2015
3 Concert: The Bangles Concert Theater 2016
4 Concert: Tiffany Concert Theater 2016
5 Concert: Don Henley Concert Theater 2016
6 Concert: The Who (50th Anniversary Tour) The Who Concert Arena 2016
7 Sports: Minnesota Lynx vs. Connecticut Sun Concert Theater 2016
1 Convention: Awesome Con Kevin Smith, misc Dr. Who, SHIELD people Convention Theater 2016
1 Little Prince, The Bridges, McAdams Movie Streaming 2016
2 Revenant, The Leo, Tom Hardy Movie Theater 2016
3 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Felicity Jones, Alan Tudyk Movie Theater 2016
4 Sing Street   Movie Theater 2016
5 Batman: Assault on Arkham Suicide Squad & Batman; animation Movie DVD 2014
6 Nice Guys, The Gosling, Crowe Movie Theater 2016
7 Shallows, The Lively, A Shark Movie Theater 2016
8 Sisters Fey, Poehler Movie DVD 2015
9 10 Cloverfield Lane Goodman,  Movie Theater 2016
10 Captain America: Civil War Evans, Downey, Mackie, Johannson Movie Theater 2016
11 Intern, The Anne Hathaway, Robert De Niro Movie Theater 2015
12 Deadpool Reynolds, Morena, Miller,  Movie Theater 2016
13 Accountant, The Affleck, Kendrick, Bana,  Movie Theater 2016
14 La La Land Stone, Gosling Movie Theater 2016
15 Doctor Strange Cumberbatch, McAdams, Bratt, Swinton, Mikkelson Movie Theater 2016
16 Everybody Wants Some Linklater, Jenner, etc… Movie Theater 2016
17 Star Trek: Beyond Pine, Quinto, Urban, Pegg, Yelchin Movie Theater 2016
18 Suicide Squad Robie, Smith, Leto Movie Theater 2016
19 Anomalisa Noonan, Leigh Movie Theater 2015
20 Jason Bourne Damon, Jones, Stiles,  Movie Theater 2016
21 X-Men: Apocalypse Lawrence, Fassbender, Jackman,  Movie Theater 2016
22 Love & Friendship Beckinsale, Savigney Movie Theater 2016
23 Magnificent Seven, The Washington, Pratt, Hawke, Skarrsgard,  Movie Theater 2016
24 Ghostbusters Wiig, Jones, McKinnon, McCarthy, Hemsworth Movie Theater 2016
25 Sully Tom Hanks, Eckhardt,  (Eastwood-director) Movie Theater 2016
26 Jackie Natalie Portman Movie Theater 2016
27 Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find them Redmayne, Waterston,  Movie Theater 2016
28 Arrival Adams, Renner,  Movie Theater 2016
29 Batman Vs Superman Affleck, Cavill, Godot,  Movie Theater 2016
30 Mr. Blandings Builds A Dreamhouse Cary Grant Movie Television 1948
31 Pride And Prejudice And Zombies Lily James, Lena Headey Movie DVD 2015
32 Bad Moms Kinis, Bell, Hahn Movie Theater 2016
33 Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates Kendrick Movie Theater 2016
34 Joy Lawrence, DeNiro, Cooper Movie Theater 2015
35 Last Vegas Douglas, Freeman, DeNiro, Kline Movie Television 2014
36 Sylvia Scarlet Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant,  Movie Television 1935
37 Zoolander 2 Stiller, Wilson,  Movie Theater 2016
38 I Saw The Light Tom Hiddleston Movie Theater 2016
39 Hail, Caeser Clooney, Brolin, cowboy Movie Theater 2016
40 Goodbye World   Movie DVD 2013
41 Barely Lethal   Movie DVD 2015
42 Batman: The Killing Joke Kevin Conway, Tara Strong Movie DVD 2016
43 Austenland Russell,  Movie DVD 2013
44 Now You See Me 2 Eisenberg, Caplan, Ruffalo Movie Theater 2016
45 Joe Dirt 2 David Spade, Brittany Daniels, Warburton Movie DVD 2015
46 Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Cruise, Smulders,  Movie Theater 2016
47 Maggie Arnold Schwarzenegger Movie DVD 2015
48 Central Intelligence Hart, Johnson Movie Theater 2016
49 Planet Of The Sharks B-Movie on SYFY Movie Television 2016
50 Get a Job Anna Kendrick Movie DVD 2012
51 Hot Pursuit Witherspoon, Vergara Movie DVD 2015
52 Gods Of Egypt Gerard Butler Movie Television 2015
53 Atomic Shark B-Movie on SYFY Movie Television 2016
54 Anna Karenina Knightley Movie DVD 2012
1 Museum: Walker Art Center Museum Museum 2016
1 Anything But Words Banks & Steelz Music CD 2016
2 Hit N Run Phase 2 Prince Music CD 2016
3 BlackStar David Bowie Music CD 2016
4 Seasick Imperial Teen Music CD 1996
5 Radio 1: Established 1967 Various Artists Music CD 2007
6 Bill Haley & The Comets Greatest Hits Bill Halet & The Comets Music Download 2016
7 Sounds Of The 80's Various Artists Music CD 2006
8 Beat The Devil's Tattoo Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Music CD 2010
9 Definitive Collection Glen Campbell Music CD 2013
10 Complete Greatest Hits Gordon Lightfoot Music CD 2002
11 Fashion Nugget Cake Music CD 1996
12 Ghost On the Canvas Glen Campbell Music CD 2014
13 Simply Kylie Kylie Minogue Music CD 2016
14 Hot Wire Kix Music CD 1991
15 Midnight Dynamite Kix Music CD 1985
16 Suicide Pact Jjamz (The singer from The Like) Music CD 2012
17 Kylie Christmas (Snow Queen Edition)  Kylie Minogue Music CD 2016
18 Hair, The TV, The Baby And The Band Imperial Teen Music CD 2007
19 Amesty Crystal Castles Music CD 2016
20 Comfort Eagle Cake Music CD 2004 ?
21 Familia Sophie Ellis-Bextor Music CD 2016
22 Hit N Run Phase 1 Prince Music CD 2015
23 Now That's What I Call Music: 56 Various Artists Music CD 2003
24 All The Hits: The Ultimate Collection B.J. Thomas Music CD 2005
25 Beautiful Broken Heart Music CD 2016
26 Good Times Monkees Music CD 2016
27 Bagtown Nu Shooz Music Download 2016
28 Head Carrier Pixies Music CD 2016
29 Beast Of Dio Dio Music CD 2000
30 Mistaken Identity Collection Kim Carnes Music CD 1991
31 The Constant I Blame Coco Music CD 2010
32 High Rise Stone Temple Pilots Music CD 2013
33 Cult Of Ray Frank Black Music Download 1995
34 Distortland Dandy Warhols Music CD 2016
35 Super Pet Shop Boys Music CD 2016
36 Show Business Kix Music Download 1995
37 1776 1776 Music Streaming 2011
38 Better Nature Silversun Pickups Music CD 2015
39 This Machine Dandy Warhols Music CD 2012
40 Hidden City Cult, The Music CD 2016
41 Blind Spot (EP) Lush Music Download 2016
42 NonStopErotik Frank Black Music CD 2010
43 Regneration Styx Music CD 2014
44 Pipes Of Peace Paul McCartney Music CD 1983
45 Now That's What I Call Music: 70 Various Artists Music CD 2008
46 Fanatic Heart Music CD 2012
47 God's Foot (Demos) Juliana Hatfield Music CD 2004
48 Electric Warlock Rob Zombie Music CD 2016
49 A Sunshine Christmas  KC & The Sunshine Band  Music CD 2013
50 True Solange Music CD 2013
51 Paper Planes Anya Marina Music CD 2016
52 When Did We Do That?  Letters To Cleo  Music CD 2008
53 Specter At The Feast Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Music CD 2013
54 A Seat At The Table Solange Music CD 2016
55 24K Magic Bruno Mars Music CD 2016
56 Prism Katy Perry Music CD 2015
57 This Is What The Truth Feels Like Gwen Stefani Music CD 2016
58 Long Lost Suitcase Tom Jones Music CD 2015
59 Head Full Of Dreams Coldplay Music CD 2015
60 Carrying A Torch Tom Jones Music CD 1991
61 The Information Elliot Sumner Music CD 2016
62 Catch The Rainbow Rainbow Music CD 1975
63 Darkness And Light John Legend Music CD 2016
64 New Sheets Possum Dixon Music CD 1998
65 P.D.A. Hey Willpower Music CD 2007
66 Shine Frida Music Download 1984
67 Strange Little Birds Garbage Music CD 2016
68 Weezer (White Album) Weezer Music CD 2016
69 Move Closer Tom Jones Music CD 1989
70 Wild Things Ladyhawke Music CD 2016
71 Sol Invictus Faith No More Music CD 2015
72 Thank You For the Music: ABBA Tribute Thank You For the Music Music CD 2012
73 Lexicon Of Love ABC Music CD 2016
74 Getaway, The Red Hot Chili Peppers Music CD 2016
75 A Agnetha Faltskog Music CD 2013
76 Dandy Warhols Are Sound Dandy Warhols Music CD 2009
77 So There Ben Folds Music CD 2015
78 Gollum Frank Black Music CD 2008
79 Blackbird Diaries Dave Stewart Music CD 2011
80 Dutch Masters Dandy Warhols Music CD 2015
1 Play: The Critic & The Real Inspector Hound Play Live 2015