Five Things – 2.17.14

1. Starman – John Carpenter’s 1984 film Starman is kind of hokey and hamfisted, but at least it ends pretty tidily: the Starman, a well-meaning alien who arrived Earth in response to Voyager 2’s message of peace, escapes our awful government’s wrath and leaves behind the Earth as well as a human woman whom he has…

Five Things – 2.3.14

1. McDonaldland Video Game – Also known as M.C. Kids in the US, this game was released by Virgin in 1992 for the NES as well as for Amiga, Commodore 64, and PC. If that cover doesn’t promise an exciting rad time, I don’t know what does.  Some cool teens or preteens hanging out with Ronald,…

Five Things – 12.30.13

1.  RoboCop Sells Out – RoboCop had a brief window of mega-popularity in the ’80s to make the most out of every marketing and licensing opportunity, and you better believe they did.  Sure, the franchise continued its popularity well into the ’90s, and with the upcoming reboot we can expect to see more product tie-ins,…

Five Things – 11.11.13

1.  2001 – As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Odyssey series.  The film 2001: A Space Odyssey has style out the wazoo, but my favorite aspect of it is the delicate way that the film handles putting an extraterrestrial experience on film.  Basically it doesn’t, not specifically, and that’s what makes the film work…

Five Things – 9.23.13

1. 2010: The Graphic Action Game – I love 2010: Odyssey Two, both the book and movie.  I love the book because it’s a pretty great one-upping of 2001 and a pretty inspiring story idea in its own right, but I love the movie for different reasons.  2001, the film, is this elegant exercise that seems to…

Five Things – 8.26.13

1.  Columbia House – In the second half of the twentieth century, it was almost impossible to open a magazine aimed at anyone under 25 and not see a Columbia House ad contained somewhere within. Columbia House offered both children who had no disposable income and college students who were able to get into their…

Five Things – 8.19.13

1.  Oz Theme Park – So apparently, in North Carolina, there’s an old theme park dedicated to The Wizard of Oz.  I know! It was built on Beech Mountain, a resort town, in an effort to keep the area profitable year round.  It focused on the book series rather than the movie, opened in 1970…

Five Things – 7.15.13

1.  RCA SelectaVision Player – Not to be confused with the Laserdisc, a similarly terrible idea, the RCA SelectaVision was conceived in 1964.  The idea of a movie-playing record was a good one in 1964, and RCA succeeded in creating a format that was able to dramatically increase the density of an LP record.  Unfortunately,…

Five Things – 1.28.13

1.  The Jitterbug – I have the feeling this is one of those things that I found out just now but is common knowledge to the rest of the world and has been for some time.  Well! Apparently there was a song/scene cut from the soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz called The Jitterbug.  From…