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October 8, 2015

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DVD collects early anime work

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 15th 2007 7:01PM

japan flagI love animation, but I have to admit my knowledge of anime is rather limited. There's a lot of anime I enjoy and admire, but what I've seen doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of this popular animation style.

If you love anime, or you just want to start at the very beginning of this art form, Digital Meme is releasing a DVD titled "Classic Japanese Anime." Don't expect stuff like AstroBoy, Speed Racer or Gigantor in this set. Instead, think silent animation from the '20s and '30s. Some of the works contained in this DVD set were originally shown in theaters with a separate audio track played on a gramophone record. If your interest in anime goes far beyond casual admiration, this is something worth spending $110.00 on. Also, every one of the fifty-five cartoons is subtitled, so there's none of that gaudy American dubbing to ruin it.

The set releases on April 30.

[via Cartoon Brew]

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Full episode of Time for Beany - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 13th 2007 8:02AM

time for beanyEgad. I'm glad I purchased my Beany and Cecil DVD when it first came out, because it looks like the only way you can get it now is used, and it's not especially cheap. If you aren't lucky enough to own this DVD, you're not only missing out on a bunch of episodes of one of the best cartoons ever made, but you're also missing out on full episodes of Time for Beany, the puppet show created by animator Bob Clampett that he eventually retooled into an animated program.

Fear not, however, for Mark Evanier found a full episode of Time for Beany on Google Video, and I've placed it below for y'all. It's a full half hour, so get comfy first. This episode may very well be from the DVD I have, but I'm too lazy to check.

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Groucho the game show host - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 9th 2007 7:31AM

groucho marxI figured since I honored Elvis yesterday I might as well also pay homage to Groucho Marx. You may wonder what these two people have in common, and the answer is: absolutely nothing. However, they both died within three days of one another, and news of Elvis' death overshadowed Groucho's in many respects. Also, I just happen to be a big Marx Brothers fan. Their movies are still as funny today as when they were first released, proving that the best comedy never goes out of style.

Since this isn't a movie blog, it wouldn't make sense for me to stick a bunch of clips below from their many films, but I can show you a clip from Groucho's comedy game show You Bet Your Life. The game show began on the radio in the late '40s before moving to NBC TV in 1950. It ran until 1961, changing it's name to The Groucho Show near the very end. Two attempts were made to revive the game show: once in the '80s with Buddy Hackett as the host, and again in the '90s with Bill Cosby.

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Some Monk news for Monk fans

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 4th 2006 12:02PM

monkGod damn it, Monk takes a midseason break and then tosses one new episode out in November and I totally miss it. What's doubly upsetting about that is I'm the one who posted about it in October. This may be a sign that my plan to stop reviewing the show is a good idea. I still love Monk, and I'll keep watching it, but I find I just don't have as much to say about it as I do other shows. Monk is kind of like popcorn to me: it's a lot of fun, and when it's all gone I wish I could have more, but there's just not a lot I have to say about it once it's over.

Now then, before the fifth season finishes off in January, there will be another episode airing on December 22, "Mr. Monk and the Leper." I'll try not to miss that one, though being so close to Christmas, who knows what'll happen? The episode will actually air twice, once in black and white (9 pm) and again in color (10 pm).

The latter half of the fifth season, which kicks off January 19, will feature several guest stars including Sean Astin, Steven Weber, Charles Durning and Andy Richter, among others.

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Watch the very first Looney Tune ever

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 14th 2006 8:31AM

boskoYears before Porky Pig would become the first breakout character of Warner Bros. Animation, there was a little humanoid by the name of Bosko, the star of the very first Looney Tune, "Sinkin' in the Bathtub," a sugary-sweet animated short that debuted in 1930 at the Warner Bros. Theater on Broadway as a lead-in to the feature film The Song of the Flame.

This cartoon, and many that followed it, were created under the omnipresent shadow of Disney during a time when Walt ruled animation and the only way to get a cartoon produced was to stick to a Disneyesque formula (even the name "Looney Tunes" is a play on Disney's "Silly Symphonies" cartoons). It wouldn't be until many years later that Warner Bros. would develop a style separate from Disney and take animation to wonderfully ludicrous heights that would never be allowed within the confines of the Walt Disney Studio. While Disney focused on narrative and making images realistic, Warner Bros. chose to make cartoons with characters and worlds that that would twist, contort, and defy our laws of physics. This change in style was thanks in large part to Tex Avery, who joined the studio in 1935. "Sinkin' in the Bathtub" pales in comparison to what the studio would eventually create, but it's a great piece of animation history, nonetheless.

Watch the cartoon here.

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See that Johnny Cash video

by Adam Finley, posted Nov 13th 2006 3:02PM
johnny cashIf you've missed the video for the late Johnny Cash's song "God's Gonna Cut You Down," you can watch it in all it's sucktackular glory here. No offense to Johnny Cash, who deserves every modicum of respect he receives plus a million, but this video is exactly what I thought it would be: a bunch of mediocre musicians and Hollywood stars emoting for the camera. Granted, we do have a couple appearances by venerable musicians like Keith Richards and Brian Wilson, but the whole "tribute video" concept just feels forced and ingenuous to me. And really, why does there need to be a music video for a Johnny Cash song, anyway? Cash's music is meant to be played on an old record player while you smoke cigarettes and drink whiskey until the woman who done left you disappears into that fog bank called memory. Everyone knows that, it's the first thing you're taught in elementary school.

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Your Web clip of Web clips

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 10th 2006 8:03AM
your show of showsHey, how's your weekend going? Pretty good? Got any plans? Did you say just say "yes?" Why did you answer me out loud? It's not like I can hear you. Anyway, I like to occasional toss random tidbits your way on these lazy weekends, so I invite you to click over to News from me, which has a very funny clip from Sid Caesar's seminal comedy variety series, Your Show of Shows. This was the serious that featured the talents of some of the greatest actors and writers in the business such as Carl Reiner, Woody Allen, and Neil Simon. In this clip, Caesar, Reiner, Howie Morris and Imogene Coca play mechanical figures on a town clock that slowly begins to go haywire. Sit back, laugh, and watch how the pros used to do it.

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