austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

For a dime you can see Kankakee or Paris

I do a lot of the Free Step exercise on the WiiFit, which involves a half-hour of stepping onto and off of the balance board. The controller makes a steady, metronome beat, so the TV can be turned off the WiiFit stuff and onto TV shows. This is a great way to catch up on DVDs and movies in half-hour blocks, often an hour as I do sixty minutes total. Turner Classic Movies and Tivo are a great way to stock up on stuff to watch, but sometimes, they end up way overflowing what I can possibly watch. Case in point, Sunday to Monday this week.

The night started with The Egg and I, which, maybe you had to be in 1946 to be really bowled over by it, but hey, Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, plus the actual origin of Ma and Pa Kettle whose ripoffs I liked tolerably well in those Walter Lanz cartoons. (I did not realize that the Kettles were East Washington State folks. I'd figured Vaguely Arkansas, based again on the ripoff cartoons. And where does anybody get named ``Geoduck''?) And then Jack Benny's George Washington Slept Here, which admittedly plays like a ripoff of Mister Blandings Builds His Dream House except for coming years before. And, really, how wrong can you go with Jack Benny in a movie?

Then was the Silent Sunday double feature of Buster Keaton --- Sherlock, Jr, one of those comedies where you stop laughing because you can't believe this was actually filmable (and featuring a vaguely 60s spy movie score for the big automobile race, which works incredibly well), and The Navigator, lesser but how could it not be? If that weren't enough then there were two Jacques Tati movies, Mr Hulot's Holiday and Mon Oncle. And if that weren't enough come 6 am was Doctor X, featuring Fay Wray, and here's the tagline, ``A reporter saves a mad doctor's daughter from a full-moon killer with synthetic flesh'' and how can you disapprove? And then Dr Ehrlich's Magic Bullet, which I suppose was an attempt to rip off that Louis Pasteur bio-pic.

Between all of this, do you know how many steps I'm going to have to take to watch all this? And I've got the Plastic-Man Comedy Adventure Hour on DVD to watch too. It's a good thing I've got all the Marx Brothers movies on DVD or their marathon of that Monday night to Tuesday morning would make the overload even worse.

Trivia: Noah Webster's efforts to regularize spelling struck one `g' out of ``waggon''. Source: The Story Of English, Robert McCrum, William Cran, Robert MacNeil.

Currently Reading: Return To Earth, Buzz Aldrin, Wayne Warga. Aldrin comes off a lot more sympathetic to Them Pesky Youth than the astronaut corps cliche suggests. Considering Rusty Schweikart suspected part of his not getting a flight assignment was his sympathy to hippie-friendly thoughts it's interesting to see a similar attitude ... of course, Aldrin never flew in space again either, but probably for other reasons. (Mind, nobody understood the logic by which flight assignments were made, and it's quite possible that Schweikart was also hurt by being an early prominent case of space sickness. Not his fault and today we'd know he's probably safe for further flights, but back then, they didn't know so why not fly astronauts who don't have known problems instead?)

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