122906 It's a bummer man.

Mercy, so there are certainly more pressing matters in the world but I just couldn’t help myself and had to post this before 2006 totally passed by. It is old news but anyone who plays the ‘Call of Duty’ videogames knows that they are generally pretty darn good games. While there have been several sort-of sequels to ‘Call of Duty’, the one that is worth getting is ‘Call of Duty 2’. The most recent game in the franchise has just come out and according to reviews is a pretty decent follow up but maybe not quite as strong a sequel as ‘Call of Duty 2’ was. Here’s the thing though, ‘Call of Duty 3’ is not being released on the PC. This may not sound like that big a deal (and really it is not) but the series started on the freaking PC! It is a very strange decision and a shame because I was looking forward to some new ‘Call of Duty’ goodness but I will just have to live with current ‘Call of Duty’ games until someone smartens up and realizes they are missing some cash from the PC market. While there are rumors that ‘Call of Duty 3’ may appear on the PC (and the


game was not made by the company Infinity Ward who made the first two ‘Call of Duty’ games) it does not look like it will. The Wikipedia page about the ‘Call of Duty’ series can be seen HERE and a page about ‘Call of Duty 3’ is HERE.

122906 A quick fix.

Down below in my 121806 past I mentioned two movies I was looking forward to finally getting a DVD release (‘Straight Time’ and ‘Prince of the City’). I mentioned that they were being released as part of a ‘Director’s Showcase’ boxed set. Turns out that was my bad, the ‘Director’s Showcase’ is just the name of a line of DVD releases that Warner Brothers is putting out, not a boxed set. So yes, ‘Straight Time and ‘Prince of the City’ are coming to DVD but not as part of a boxed set and yes, I wasted too much time with this silly update.

122706 Former President Gerald Ford 1913-2006.

The only unelected president in American history has passed away at the age of 93. An associated press article can be found via Yahoo HERE.

122706 James Brown.

Singer James Brown has sadly passed away (on Christmas no less.) There are plenty of others who can talk about his long career far better than I but I did want to mention his passing. I love a lot of Brown’s work, such as his underrated soundtrack to the film ‘Black Ceasar’ (particularly the song ‘Down And Out In New York City’.) In true James Brown style there is even controversy surrounding his death as his marriage to his wife may have not been legally binding since she was already married to someone else. An article about the controversy can be seen HERE. An article about Brown's passing can be seen HERE.

122406 Happy Holidays!

This is sending you holiday wishes the way mom used to make 'em: via cold electronic text! Yay!. Happy Holidays to you and yours! Eat lots, rest up, and get everything you ever wanted! Cheers!

122306 Payback's a director's cut.

So once again I must credit the awesome DVDTimes with alerting me to an upcoming release I have been looking forward too. This one is special because I was not expecting to see anytime soon. Awhile back before he stirred controversy with his film ‘Passion of the Christ’ and drunken, racist, arrest story, Mel Gibson starred in crime drama called ‘Payback’. ‘Payback’ was based on the novel ‘The Hunter’ by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake.) ‘Payback’ looked to be an interesting adaptation of ‘The Hunter’ (which was also made as the great film ‘Point Blank’) but after limited test screen. Gibson (whose company produced the film) decided he wanted changes. Then first time director Brian Helgeland backed out, so some 30% was re-shot with a different director. Helgeland’s cut was something I had wanted to see for a long time and I really didn’t expect it to be released while Gibson was still around.

A friend of mine pointed out that the success of the Richard Donner Cut of ‘Superman II’ might have helped the producers make the decision to release Helgeland's Cut. I would say the Donner Cut, the multiple releases of


‘The Exorcist’ prequel and the general popularity of extended and director’s cut DVD releases led to the decision. Maybe it was something else altogether, maybe Gibson rethought not releasing Helgeland’s Cut. Whatever the case, it will be released in April 2007. I found it funny that when the film was released theatrically the image used on the poster was from a scene cut from ‘Payback’ when Gibson re-shot footage. I should give some credit to The Violent World of Parker site as well as DVDTimes for talking about this release. The DVDTimes page can be seen HERE. Check out the great site deditcated to the character from Stark's novel 'The Hunter': The Violent World of Parke. The review of the bootleg director’s cut can be seen on the site HERE. A list of changes in the Gibson cut can be seen at IMDb HERE.

122206 Joe Barbera 1911 - 2006.

In my website fixing I didn’t get to mention the sad passing of Joe Barbera, one half of Hanna-Barbera. ‘The Flinstones’, ‘Tom and Jerry’, and many other Hanna-Barbera cartoons are part of my childhood memories as surely as they millions of others around the world. As with actor Peter Boyle there are others who can write far better about the man’s passing than I. An Associated Press article about Barbera can be seen HERE.

122206 Repost.

In my haste, while updating the site, I somehow deleted my last post about the passing of actor Peter Boyle. There is no accounting for my incompetence and I am still not sure how I managed to pull that off. Boyle was well know for his work on the show ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and in the film ‘Young Frankenstein’. While he was more recently known for comedy he also had an impressive body of dramatic work. From supporting roles, to heavies Boyle had a pretty impressive range for someone who was generally associated with a sitcom. He was a good friend of John Lennon’s and had studied to be a monk at one time. I liked his small, quiet, performance in Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’. An Associated Press article about Boyle can be seen HERE.

121806 Some neato' DVD releases.
  A few DVD updates that I have been meaning to mention... There are a group of films coming to DVD that I have been looking forward to for awhile and a couple more that are also arriving with some cool bonus features. In no particular order up first are a couple of film noirs: ‘Crime Wave’ and ‘They Live by Night’. Thanks to the great site DVDBeaver for posting about these two titles being a part of the latest Warner Brothers Film Noir box set. What is especially noteworthy is ‘Crime Wave’ will have a commentary by writer Eddie Muller along with James Ellroy and

‘They Live by Night’ will have Muller joined by Farley Granger! Too cool! Another upcoming box set is the Robert Mitchum Collection. One film that will be a part of the set is Sidney Pollack’s ‘Yakuza’, a movie I have been wondering why it has not been on DVD. Pollack has recorded a commentary track for the release which will be on January, 23 2007. The last couple of films I had been looking forward to will be arriving in a Director’s Showcase Boxset. They are ‘Straight Time’ and ‘Prince of the City’. Both of the films are crime dramas that I was hoping would get some sort of alternate cut on DVD. While neither film looks to be getting any special cut they do have some promising features, most notably a commentary track on ‘Straight Time’ with Dustin Hofman and Ulu Grosbard. There is some question over which version of ‘Prince of the City’ will be released on DVD and also it is curious that a director’s commentary is not listed with the special features for the movie as it was reported elsware that Sidney Lumet had recorded a track. (See the wikipedia entry on the film HERE.) I guess we will have to wait and see. The Director’s Showcase set has several other films along with ‘Straight Time’ and ‘Prince of the City’ and it will not be released until March, 27 2007. The DVDTimes page on the release can be seen HERE. The DVDBeaver page on the Film Noir boxed set can be found HERE.


The DVDTimes page on the Robert Mitchum Collection can be seen HERE. Thanks again to the two great DVD sites DVDBeaver and DVDTimes, viewable HERE and HERE.

120706 Oh ‘Idiocracy’, there you are.

Once again 'DVDTimes' has the story about a DVD release I have been looking forward to. On an 110606 update I did I wrote about a Mike Judge movie called ‘Idocracy’. The film tested ok but never really got much of a theatrical release and had virtually no publicity. The great DVD site 'DVDTimes' posted an update on the DVD release of ‘Idiocracy’. It seems the movie will be released on the 9th of January 2007 in widescreen with only 5 deleted scenes for bonus features. I never did get to see ‘Idiocracy’ so for all I know it could be a terrible movie but based on Judge’s previous track record I doubt that is the case. I have to wonder if this wasn’t something similar to what happened to the ‘Mr. Show’ movie 'Run Ronnie Run' which was recut against the wishes of its creators Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. The dispute over the cut of the film resulted in no publicity, super limited theatrical screenings and drum roll please... a DVD release with deleted scenes for bonus features. I really would love to here what Judge has to say about the whole thing but so far he is keeping on the downlow. Maybe there was some other reason all together that caused the film to get worse treatment that a Steven Segal flic’. Personally, I blame the terrorists. The ‘DVDTimes’ update on ‘Idiocracy’ can be found HERE. A page on the ‘Mr. Show’ movie can be found HERE.

120506 Site updates.
  I had to do some minor site fixes and have made couple of quick updates to some reviews that I have been meaning to do. Amongst other things fixed the review of ‘The Best of John Belushi.’
You can see old updates in the "Old News " section of this site.

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