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October 22, 2014:

WAS TUESDAY YOUR GOOD NEWS DAY?

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, was Tuesday your good news day?  Was Tuesday your wear new shoes day?  Was Tuesday your losin’ the blues day?  Was Tuesday your taking a cruise day?  Was Tuesday paying your union dues day?  Was Tuesday your seeing some Jews day?  Was Tuesday your picking up your cues day?  Was Tuesday your I think I’ll take a snooze day?  Was Tuesday your I think I’ll win not lose day?  Well, I think we’ve beaten that to a pulp, don’t you?  Still it gave me my second wind because my first wind was in absentia.  I now have my second wind if you get my drift and you must get my drift if there’s a wind, whether first or second.  I must say, that was a waste of a perfectly good paragraph.

Yesterday was a most unusual day, as the old song goes.  For some unknown reason I woke up at six in the morning.  I was up until about nine and then I got back in bed, slept an hour, woke up, then slept another hour and finally got up at eleven.  At that point, I had to gather my wits about me because my wits were strewn all over the place like mismatched socks looking for a good time.  I got ready and was out the door by eleven-thirty and over to Ribs USA for a lunch meeting, during which I ate lunch and had a meeting.  The meeting went well and so did the lunch.  I had the pulled pork sandwich again, which was even better than last time.  I had it with a side of mac-and-cheese – the side that comes with the sandwich, not the bigger side, so it was really only about two ounces and it wasn’t nearly as good as last week and it was actually completely different in taste and pretty much everything.  Curious.  Ribs USA now seems to be owned by Asians – they were very nice, good service, but alarmingly there were only three tables’ worth of people there for prime lunch hour.  After that, I picked up some packages.

Then I did some banking, came home, had a few long telephonic conversations, was told about a great hotel deal in New York on priceline.com, went there, found it and booked it.  It was one of those secret deals where you put in how many stars you want your hotel to be and the location, then you book it and only then do you find out what the hotel actually is.  But the Staitmans had just booked it, so with some guidance, I found that link and booked my room, which turned out to thankfully be the same hotel – the Empire, where I have stayed many times.  I really like the hotel, I got a nice room, it’s close to where we’re doing the shows, and best of all it’s hugely less expensive than the hotel I’d booked through Quikbook.  So I will cancel that reservation in the morning.  The good part of the priceline.com thing is that it’s now already paid for so I don’t really have to worry about anything.  I got something called a junior suite, but I hadn’t noticed it’s two double beds, so I’ll call them and see if I can just get a queen or a king instead, as the double bed is just too small for the likes of me.  I then sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture entitled The Blob – not the 1958 The Blob that we all know and love, no, the remake from 1988, which I’d never seen.  Well, well, well. After reading on another board of a transfer that barely looks better than VHS, of extreme grain, of barely better than DVD, and even a review that said that The Blob “may be” from a dated source, despite giving the transfer four out of five stars.  So, why bring up the specter of a dated source, which introduces a note of alarm for no reason whatsoever?

So, what have we got here?  I come to the remake of The Blob anew.  I, of course, saw the original when it came out and I liked it a lot back then and still have a certain fondness for it now.  The remake has spawned a rabid cult of people who probably saw it at an impressionable age, not in theaters, where it did not do especially well, but on cable, where they would apparently watched it over and over again, so that several of these folks call it their all-time favorite film.  Makes you stop and scratch the old noggin’, doesn’t it?  I stayed away from the remake because of all the people saying it was ultra violent with really gory effects.  I must have not seen that version when I watched the Twilight Time release.  The version I saw had fairly standard issue effects and was not especially gory not even by late 80s standards and nowhere near as nauseating as the effects in John Carpenter’s The Thing.

So, that was the first surprise.  The remake replays quite a few of the original’s scenes verbatim in terms of structure and what happens within the scenes and where they are set.  But, an hour in and the film veers off into non-alien territory that is really quite silly.  We’ve already had one wholesale lifting of a moment from Alien by that time, but as soon as the men in the bio suits arrive, at least for the first ten minutes of their arrival, we’ve suddenly wandered into a Steven Spielberg film, complete with one almost exact line rip-off from ET.  Once we find out what’s really going on, then we go into action mode for the rest of the film.  It’s all perfectly competent save for the acting, which is barely competent from every single person in the film except Candy Clark and Shawnee Smith, both of whom are very good.  Kevin Dillon a hero is not and I found him slightly more off-putting than his brother, especially the hairdo.

All that said, there are a handful of amusing moments, the pacing is fine, and it’s better than most useless remakes. It didn’t exactly put its director on the map – he’s really not had much of a career since, although according to the imdb he has about six movies about to be made – I kind of doubt we’ll be seeing any of them anytime soon.  Co-screenwriter Frank Darabont of course has had a bit of a career post The Blob.

Now to the transfer.  Is it barely better than VHS and DVD? I think those with actual brains in their heads and who’ve seen the disc know the answer.  It’s a terrific transfer and looks just like a late 80s film should look.  There are a lot of opticals, some heavy smoke and diffusion and it’s all very well done and looks really solid in terms of detail, contrast and color.  And as to “it may be from a dated source” – absolutely correct – if by dated you mean a transfer done at the beginning of 2014, which is exactly when this transfer was done.  Facts are always a good thing to have at your disposal.  If this is your sort of thing, I cannot imagine you will be disappointed – and it’s down to its final couple hundred copies after almost thirty days of being able to purchase it.  But when it sells out, be that in a day or two or even a week, you can bet that on other boards (well, one board) you will have thirty pages of posts that say “Damn you Twilight Time, I was just about to buy it.”  Mark my words.

After that, I did a three-and-a-half mile jog – so difficult but I really need to drop fifteen to twenty pounds pronto and the only way it’s going to happen is getting my metabolism working better.  Then I watched the first thirty minutes of another Twilight Time release called The Believers.  I’ll finish it today and have a full report for you.

Today, I have some writing to do, I haven’t heard about the work session so therefore do not have a clew as to whether it’s happening, although I hope it is.  If it isn’t, it will definitely happen on the ‘morrow.  I’ll hopefully pick up some packages and then I have a dinner thing, after which I’ll watch a motion picture.

Tomorrow I don’t know what the HELL is happening, but I’m sure it’s something, and then I have several other things to do through the weekend, and then we’re into Kritzerland week, with rehearsals, stumble-through, sound check and show.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do a jog, write, maybe have a work session, hopefully pick up some packages, have a dinner and watch a motion picture.  Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day, the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like.  So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, happy that Tuesday was my okay news day, shoes day, cruise day, cues day, snooze day and peruse day.

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