Batman Has His Joker, and Bond Has His Blofeld


Pull yourself together, Blofeld.

Yes, in this fourth outing (that many already?) of the latest Bond franchise, Daniel Craig continues his outstanding performance as 007. This post will not be so much a review of Spectre, as simply some random memories and thoughts about one of my favorite fictional secret agents.

This time, James goes rogue again, as he must keep a promise to an old friend. One of the many things I love about the new batch of Bonds is how we see Bond continually evolve. While I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the actors who brought their own unique skills to the Bond role, Daniel Craig shows us a Bond who is not just a killing machine.

There has been an interesting shift in the story-lines with Bond movies during the last few years. This time one of the themes is information–who has it, who has the right and the power to collect it, and…what’s done with it. Powerful, in this era of Big Data, drones, and surveillance. This is a classic tale of the Old Dogs who’ve been doing things a certain way for decades, versus the Young Guns with new, better, faster, bigger.

It also brings into light the whole “…license to kill…” concept, one of the aspects of Bond that’s been accepted ever since there was first a Bond. As M quite bluntly points out to C, “Yes, the double-oh’s have a license to kill, but that also means they have a license not to kill,” implying that they will always need the human factor.

That’s about all for now. Trying to keep the posts a bit shorter, bite-size chunks.

’til next time…Adios.

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Secondhand Words

Second hand

Caution: All the words you’re reading here are secondhand words. No new words here. Some are more used than others and some are overused, but still in reasonable shape. Perhaps a bit tarnished, but still useful.

’til next time…Adios.

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There are Cardinals Out My Window


I feel as though I’m in a cabin somewhere in the northeast, with plenty of time to write. As long as the white stuff keeps coming down, I have nowhere I have to go. Time to write.

’til next time…Adios.

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An Engaging Idea

Kirk warp factor

Consider this for a moment. You’ve just been appointed to the position of starship captain. You’re getting ready to fire up those warp drive engines and do the “boldly going” thing. How would you issue your command?

’til next time…Adios.

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I’ll Commence to Start at the Beginning


Eddie the Eagle

Turning to the ol’ Dino-Thesaurus, at least the online version at, there are 31 synonyms for ‘start’, including everything from ‘alpha’ to ‘flying start’. That’s a heckuva lot of choices for when a character in your books wants to ‘open’ a business.

Now, here’s the interesting thing–one of the synonyms is ‘opening’, but they don’t have ‘open’. They do have, however, ‘exit’, which seems more like an antonym.

Point to consider: not all words are equal. Choose them well. See how they sound, how they feel, when you put them on the page or the computer screen.

More amazing tidbits here:

’til next time…Adios, so long, see ya.

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A Visually Stimulating Film of Epically Magnificent Proportions


And, we’re off. Already we’re getting pummeled with trailers for films and their associated non-sentences promoting them. I saw one that promised “One of the best films of the year!”

Well, that’s pretty easy–we’re not even two weeks in yet.

A couple of others guarantee “Best picture of the year!” and “The year’s best film!” Hmm, I think somebody’s lying. They both can’t be the best.

Then there’s a plethora (I normally hate ‘plethora’, but it seems to fit here.) of exclamations about “…epically stimulating and entertaining…”, “…visually stunning…”, and just plain more masterpieces than we can shake a film canister at.

Oops, sorry, guess there aren’t film canisters anymore. We’ll have to be digitally stimulating these days.

’til next time…Adios.

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Just How Bad Was It?


Well, it wasn’t as bad as Manos: The Hands of Fate, but Teenagers Battle the Thing (1958) was pretty bad. But in a fun way. Thing is, they actually did some real science at the beginning of the movie.

A couple of archaeology professors lead a group of students on a field trip, hunting for ancient artifacts. There are some decent discussions about pictographs on rocks, or at least that’s the term I remember. To any archaeologists reading my post, please forgive my ignorance on the subject.

So, they’re digging around in the dirt, finding pottery shards, when all of a sudden, one of the students discovers an eolith (this one I remember, because my buddy and I talked about it until one of us looked it up, and sure enough, real word–means a primitive stone tool). Some of the students and the two professors climb to the top of a peak, leaving the girls behind, which seemed to be a trend in these 50s/60s sci-fi/horror flicks.

Anyway, they guys discover a stone tablet, pry it up, and Hey! A cave! The Hardy Boys climb down into the cave, and here’s where we begin our about-face with science. First off, no lanterns. Second off, they find a mummy, which they proceed to drag out of the cave and back to a shed.

Oh, and the cave entrance? It was small when they removed the stone tablet. It suddenly enlarged when they begin their cave exploration.

Okay, where was I? So, they get the girls, drag the mummy back to a shed, and now they’re all staying overnight in a house. Now they begin to separate. A couple of kids go to the malt shop; several remain in the house; and one goes back to the shed, when he notices…gasp! The mummy’s moving.

Now we enter the schlock-fest. The mummy, now the Thing of the movie’s title, looks like a guy wearing a mangy Bigfoot costume, with ping-pong ball eyes, and cheap fangs. In fact, it was reworked as Curse of Bigfoot, a made-for-TV flick, in ’75, and extended from 58 to 88 minutes. I have no idea what they could have possibly added to this thing, or why, but there you have it.

Obviously released at the peak of the teen drive-in movie craze (hence the outrageous title), it’s an obscure little film. So obscure that the info I can gather is sketchy at best. IMDb says it was released in ’58, and only in the director’s (Dave Flocker, who directed only two movies in his career–this one and the re-edited version) hometown. Wikipedia says the re-edited version, also by Dave, came out in ’76, whereas IMDb says ’75. Wiki says the original came out “…around 1963.”

This is mainly for hard-core Z-movie enthusiasts. But I hafta say, the Thing was a hoot when we finally see it.

’til next time…Adios.

Posted in Comedy, Drive-in Theater, Monster, Movie Reviews, Random Meditations, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Public Warning–Otherwise Known as Manos: The Hands of Fate


My buddy Cran liked the part in Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) with the cat. Actually, there was no cat in Manos, but that makes absolutely no difference whatsoever, as that makes as much sense as pretty much the rest of the movie.

We start off with a family heading on vacation. We think. Then there’s lots of driving. A whole lot of driving.

Almost forgot. State troopers pulled them over for a tail light being out, but they got off. Also, the same troopers keep running into this young couple making out in a sports car. They proceed to shoo them off, and keep doing so throughout the movie at random points.

And that pretty much explains the movie. Randomness. Lots and lots of randomness. And horrible acting. And horrible writing. And horrible photography. And horrible music.

And those are the good parts.

Next, they get lost. We think. Then they arrive at a house. And a caretaker named Torgo who’s doing a bad impersonation of an Igor-like character. A Texas Igor.

There’s lots of standing around and staring, and Torgo warns them about the Master.

More staring. More standing around.

Meanwhile we waited for something to happen.

Then we see the Master lying on a stone slab with women standing around.

Then Torgo does something. He tries groping the man’s wife. We think. At least he tried groping. We think.

Our vacationing family does something, and wolves which we never see kill the family poodle. We think.

The family escapes through the desert.

There are some cat fights by the Master’s women in the dirt. No mud. Lots of rolling about in negligees.

The family heads back to the house, the Master returns.

The End.


And that’s that.

Cran says he likes the part about the cat best of all.

’til next time…Adios.

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The Strange, Strange Mind of Edmund Jackstein


Well, a little more information has been discovered concerning the mysterious and unusual Mr. Edmund Jackstein. Word punner extraordinaire, he disappeared from Dunwark College for a brief time, surfacing in Thorton, Alaska, where he worked as their librarian.

’til next time…Adios.

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I Like My Toast a Little on the Darth Side


Why is Darth Vader so popular these days? I just picked up the Wireless 2015 catalog Christmas edition, and it sure as Rudolph’s nose is red ain’t Santa or the Ghost of Christmas Present on the cover.


It’s good ol’ dark-sided Darth in all his black-armored glory, red light saber poised to strike down any Jedi elves foolish enough to come within range (or, perhaps Jar Jar–yay!). And get this–Darth’s a tree topper.


Darth, second only to the Emperor, in all his full-out dark lord badassness, has replaced Angie the Angel. Think about it. Darth on the front cover, spreading Christmas cheer. And just inside, on the next page, three books about the Man in Black–“Darth Vader and Son,” “Goodnight Darth Vader,” and “Vader’s Little Princess.” In these books, Darth is the ideal dad, as a young Luke and Leia run about.

On another page, Yoda is a candy dish holder. And he doesn’t look particularly joyful.
Meanwhile, want some dark lord toast? Well, there’s the Star Wars Darth Vader toaster. Have your toast with “Star Wars” burned into it.

So, what can we learn from all this?

A little darkness is fun? Darth is cool? Better costume than the good guys? Almost 40 years later and the character we see the most of is Darth. Anakin Skywalker was a tragic hero. A fallen hero.

But he did finally destroy the Emperor and save the day.

’til next time…Adios.

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