Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton

Charlie and Buster were two of the best screen comedians ever to walk the earth. They both had similar upbringings. Buster and his family in American vaudeville. Charlie worked in British music halls. Charlie rose to stardom in silent movies in the 1910’s beginning with Keystone, Mutual (where he made his best short comedies)  Essanay and then he confounded United Artist with Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and W. D. Griffith. After that Charlie went into full feature films.

Buster started silent shorts in 1917 with Roscoe Arbuckle. After Roscoe broke out on his own so did Buster….he did some more short films which were brilliant. He then went into full features. Buster was just so different than anyone else. He was so still while the world moved in chaos around him. He was a brilliant actor-director and also writer which he often didn’t take credit for doing. If Buster would have just made “The General” his place in film history would be cemented. The same can be said of Charlie Chaplin and his masterpiece “The Gold Rush.”

There was no competition between the two in popularity. Charlie won hands down over Buster and probably everyone else in comedy and drama. His character “The Tramp” was internationally loved. All in all Keaton was a better film maker. They were two different comedians. Chaplin would reach for pathos…sometimes a little too much. Keaton seemed much more real. Keaton’s site gags were incredible and sometimes dangerous to his health…like have a front of a building that weighed a ton (so it wouldn’t twist in the wind) fall on him with the upstairs opening clearing him around 2 inches on each side. He never smiled because it would have ruined his character. Both are worth watching and with Keaton’s films like Sherlock Jr…you wonder how he did some of the things he did with the primitive camera’s they used.

Both were funny men. The other big comedian was Harold Lloyd but he was more of an actor playing a comedian….he was really successful though… second to Chaplin in making money.

 

 

Charlie and Buster older both appear in Charlie’s Limelight.

Doctor Who…NOT Miss WHO

I have always loved Doctor Who. I remember it in the 1970s on PBS…Tom Baker was fantastic. The special effects were not great but it did NOT matter. As long as the story was conveyed that is all I cared about. They brought it back in 2005 and I’ve liked all the Doctors since then until now. Now they cast a woman as Doctor Who….I have nothing against women….I was raised by my Mom and sister and I have nothing but respect for women. It’s not about hating women…it’s about miscasting.

The BBC did it to be politically correct.  They didn’t care if it would be good for the show or not…it’s all about making certain people happy.

and this from the BBC:

It was always unlikely that the Doctor would continue to be white and male, especially as the BBC has committed itself to greater diversity on its programmes

but yet this also right before…

 

It should be about making the show better not for greater diversity. To me it’s about the same as a man being cast as Wonder Woman, A giant spider being cast as King Kong.

I would have been just as angry if they would have made the Doctor an American man. It doesn’t fit.

Well I have all the old classic shows and the shows since 2005 to keep me entertained. I least I won’t have to take time every Saturday night to watch it anymore. As much as it pains me to say….I could care less if it ends up cancelled.

Darth Vader to Luke: “I am your mother” How would that have gone down?

Steven Moffat…the Show Runner…said he would not cast a woman….then the BBC stepped in and now all a sudden he agrees with the decision.

Some people may like it…more power to them…but it’s not just the fact HE turned into a woman…it’s the fact that it was just done for diversity. Yes Doctor Who is a fictional character but also an icon. Some change in life is good…but change for the sake of changing is not….

I was so angry when this was announced….Well I’ve had more time to think about it and ….I’m more angry. I would have like to go on a swearing rant here but I won’t do that.

I’ve heard the saying “change with the times” over this subject…well I will only when the changes make sense. To me this doesn’t at all…

Anyone who disagrees with the choice is called a woman hater. No I’m a political correctness hater….and that is why this happened.

From the Dailystar

Comments on social media and fan forums included: “Female Doctor – tick.

“Middle aged white man – tick. Young black man – tick. Young Asian girl – tick

 

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Tom Baker my favorite Doctor

 

IT 1990 and IT 2017

I’ve never seen IT as a horror story…I’ve seen it as a coming of age story with scary twists. I really like the novel and I wanted to see something as close as possible to the book.

I went to see IT with very high hopes. I realized before I went though that they could never be met so it was kinda fruitless to do that. My hope (and far-fetched dream) was that they would have made an HBO series of the novel. Yes, it would have been around 10 – 15 hour long episodes. I wanted so much for the novel to come to life on screen. That wasn’t going to happen in one movie but I will say that yes I enjoyed the movie.

I’m not one of those who dismisses the 1990 mini-series. They were working with a low budget and the constraints of television. With the exception of Beverly, I thought the children were perfectly cast. The first episode was superior to the second episode but the second had it’s moments…not counting the terrible spider or the ponytail on Richard Thomas. The one thing IT 1990 had over 2017 is overall creepiness. Maybe it was Tim Curry and the late 80s sound effects.

IT 2017 was much better looking and I liked Bill Skarsgård’s version of Pennywise. The way he toyed with Georgie was classic. They revealed way too much in the many trailers and sneak peaks. Most of the movie you knew what was coming next. My biggest problem is the kids really didn’t have time to bond. Also, the time change from the 1950’s to the 1980’s…did Andrés Muschietti just think the audience today could not comprehend the 50’s? The reason I liked the 50’s backdrop is that kids were more innocent then and Pennywise in that era would be more of a shock.

It’s not really fair to judge the new IT until Chapter 2 comes out in 2019 but Chapter 1 was enjoyable. I should be happy the story has been revived again.

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Some overlooked solo Beatles songs.

Not much by the Beatles have been overlooked. As a group their songs have been inspected, dissected and analysed more than any other rock group. That doesn’t mean there still isn’t some out there hidden a little bit…. But this is for John, Paul, George and Ringo on their own…some songs you don’t hear as much. Just one each right now.

I Know (I know) – John Lennon off of Mind Games. Some say it was written as a message to Paul and it does have some Beatles references in there. John said later it was about Yoko…it could be both or neither…Personally I think it’s about both…It’s a wonderful pop song nonetheless. I just recently started to listen to this song again. My favorite Lennon solo song after 1971.

Junior’s Farm – Paul McCartney…It was an A side to a single… It was a hit but it’s not played much anymore. It was recorded in Nashville. I wished he would have made more like this…the rawness that Paul can do well when he wants to…which is not very much. Sally G the B side is a quaint country song of it’s time. It was also recorded in Nashville. It’s a fun song  that was influenced by his trip to the Music City in 1974.

Any Road – George Harrison recorded this for his last album Brainwashed before he died. It was finished up by his son Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne. It has the trademark slide guitar by George who had a slide style completely his own. George always got swallowed up by the enormity of John and Paul but he wrote some great songs.

Early 1970 – Ringo Starr wrote this song and is it a great song? No not really but he makes it perfectly clear he wanted to play with the remaining Beatles…and what he felt about each one at the time. For a Beatles fan it is interesting to hear this. Ringo had a lot of hits in the early 1970’s and this one was not one of them. As a fan you were pulling for him.

The Marx Brothers

 

Describing the Marx Brothers in their Paramount movies is like describing a hurricane and a car wreck combined. The brothers were in vaudeville from the early 1900’s to 1924 where they finally made it to Broadway in a play called “She Say’s It Is”. Broadway audiences had never seen anything like them. They literally tore up the stage with being so energetic. The brothers names were Julius (Groucho), Adolph (Harpo), Leonard (Chick-o) and Herbert (Zeppo). They had another brother that was not in the act Milton (Gummo).

Groucho was always in a power position in the plays and movies. Harpo and Chico would be there to take him down a few notches. Zeppo would be the straight man. Harpo of course would play the harp in a musical part, Chico would play the piano and Groucho would sometimes play the guitar…but the comedy is what everyone came to see.

They started movies around 1928 and again no one had ever see anything like them on screen. The five movies they made for Paramount were Coconuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup. These movies were anarchist chaos. After 1933 they signed a deal with MGM and their movies were tamed down to have more of a story line and some were good but never matched the wildness of the Paramount movies where they had no respect for authority and lived and talked by their own rules. Groucho would say things that we would love to say in real life but we could never get by with it…he would say them in real life…and get by with it.

They are hard to compare to anyone else. The Three Stooges were not the same comedy whatsoever. In the 1970’s college students were drawn to the Marx Brothers and their popularity went up with college students standing in lines around the block to see Animal Crackers in a theater. Their movies are still relevant today and can be enjoyed by every generation….

Harpo is my favorite…who never said a word in any film. He was a master of prop comedy and he could have been a big star in silent comedy. He was also a really good harp player also. He wrote the best biography (Harpo Speaks!) I’ve ever read. For fans it’s great and for the average person it’s an interesting read. The book is what first got me into the Marx Brothers.

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Groucho Marx Quotes

Groucho’s one liners and insults beating anyone I’ve ever heard… here are a few.

 

“Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”

“I was married by a judge… I should have asked for a jury”

“A man’s only as old as the woman he feels”

“As soon as I get through with you, you’ll have a clear case for divorce and so will my wife

“I married your mother because I wanted children, imagine my disappointment when you came along”

“Behind every successful man is a woman, behind her is his wife”

“Women should be obscene not heard”

“Marriage is the chief cause of divorce”

“Marriage is a wonderful institution but who wants to live in an institution?”

“Those are my principles If you don’t like them I have more”

“You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I’ll bet he was glad to get rid of it ”

“Who are you going to believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?”

“Paying alimony is like feeding hay to a dead horse”

“Remember men, you are fighting for this lady’s honor; which is probably more than she ever did”

“Last night I shot an elephant in my Pajamas and how he got in my pajamas I’ll never know”

“I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty”

 

 

A few things from the 70s

If I could have been a teenager in any decade it would have been the 1970s. I barely remember the 70s  I grew up mostly in the 80s. I was always envious of people who grew up in the decade before I did…. Great music, split level houses, earth tones, funky clothes, cool cars, great tv shows and bad variety shows…so bad they were great…. Everyone and everything had their own personality. It was a decade where all generations intersected with each other. You had a  with Tim Conway, Kiss, Florence Henderson (singing That Old Black Magic no less) Donny and Marie!, Margaret Hamilton and the eternal Betty White. What other decade would have that and Saturday Night Live….with Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase…

I’m not saying anything bad didn’t happen…they did… Jonestown, Kent State, Watergate, Iran hostages, inflation and gas shortages and more. But every decade has its tragedies and bad things.

Really good things were no cellphones, no AIDs, we had vinyl records and we would study the front cover art or picture and the fold out for hours, real honest to goodness rock stars who had talent, no auto-tune, pictures that were not doctored so much you weren’t sure they were real, Intellivision, Atari games, libraries were still relevant, hanging out with friends after school, not nearly as much commercialism (fewer choices to make), more freedom, individualism, you could tell a Ford from a Chevy, Now everyone wants the same things because we are hit with ads 24/7 to be like everyone else.

The 1980s is when commercialism really started in full earnest.

In the 70s people and companies were not afraid to take chances to do something different and new…like movies, houses and cars….even if you didn’t like them (AMC Pacer!) at least you weren’t seeing the same thing in different colors. Yes disco was there but I still like it better than boy groups now. Real musicians played on them. I will admit the lit dance floors were pretty cool…that’s all I will give disco. You could go and see The Who, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder for 12 bucks and under…sometimes cheaper.

Many people would disagree with the 70s but I still like the chaise lounge chairs with the groovy fuzzy feeling (I have one), green shag carpet the dark restaurants and Star Wars! Before the awful….for the most part Star War prequels.

I can think of many more things both good and bad. I just wish I could have seen more of the seventies at an older age than I was then. But I enjoyed what I had of them…I just wished we had more individualism now.

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Can’t forget the Pacer (rolling fish aquarium on wheels)

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The best Peanut Butter ever…KOOGLE… it came in 4 flavors and Banana was my favorite. I so wish Kraft would bring this back…I really miss this…