Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Recent DVD Purchases

I have an affinity for vintage cartoons of the 30's and 40's. So, when I ran across a Bosko DVD recently, of course I had to get it. I also had to buy a copy for everyone I know. I LOVE BOSKO! Considered one of those racist, "baudy" cartoons of yesteryear only makes Bosko that much more of a taboo to love. Regardless of what Bosko was supposed to be (No one really knew, but there were tell-tale signs all the same), I find Bosko incredibly sweet. He reminds me of Mickey Mouse but with more charisma. One of the funniest things I found out about Bosko was that he dropped the 'F' bomb in his 1933 episode entitled Bosko's Picture Show when he exclaims "The dirty fuck!" OMG, that kills me. I gotta buy those DVDs one of these days. Meanwhile, here's a little more on the history of Bosko via excerpts from Bosko Uncensored by Gary Johnson:

Long before Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck took over as the major breadwinners for the Warner Bros. cartoon division, another character paid most of the bills. His name was Bosko, and today he's little known except by cartoon historians.

Bosko resulted after creators Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising left Disney Studios, enticed by higher wages and promises of work on Oswald the Rabbit cartoons for Universal (who had recently stolen Oswald from Disney). In 1929 Hugh Harman and Rudolph Ising created a cartoon star which they named Bosko. Harman and Ising used a pilot film (Bosko The Talk-Ink Kid) made in the Summer of 1929 to sell the idea of a cartoon series that would compete with Disney's Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies. This was the first talking animated cartoon. From 1929 to August of 1933 the Looney Tunes series consisted entirely of Bosko cartoons.

While Bosko inhabits a world of funny animals, it's not immediately apparent exactly what Bosko is. In Leonard Maltin's Of Mice and Magic, he reports a conversation between a porter and animator Jack Zander: "I know Mickey Mouse and Krazy Kat, and Oswald the Rabbit … but Bosko the what?" asked the porter. What indeed. The first Bosko cartoon, "Bosko the Talk-Ink Kid" (1929; a demo made to attract potential backers), made this issue clear as Bosko stepped forward and said, "Well, here I is and I sho' feels good." Then he does a soft shoe dance. It's guaranteed to make many modern audience members groan in disbelief at the broad African-American caricature. Fortunately, however, subsequent Bosko cartoons make his heritage difficult to decipher. He immediately loses his Deep South accent -- until the final moments of each cartoon when he reverts to a Southern, black accent for "That's all folks." (These words long pre-date Porky Pig's stuttering finale for the classic later period Warner Bros. cartoons.) Never does Bosko's heritage come into question. He merely inhabits a "funny animal" world -- almost never encountering other humans (except for his girlfriend Honey) -- so his status as a human becomes irrelevant. Instead, he becomes a nondescript "funny animal" himself.

Elf (2003)
Comments: Though I feel that Will Ferrell is bordering on overkill when it comes to Hollywood's latest 'go to' man when it comes to schtick, I was pleasantly surprised by this Christmas movie. It had heart and actually made me tear up towards the end.

The Dukes of Hazzard: Unrated (2005)
Comments: Like you don't already know why I bought this movie: HELLO, Johnny Knoxville!! ROWR! I could have given two shits about the movie otherwise. Annnnnd, as much as I hate to admit it, Jessica Simpson is white-hot in the music video, singing a cover of Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Were Made For Walkin'. Ow!

Just Before Dawn (1981)
Comments: One of my creepy 80's favorites. It's nice to see that they finally digitally remastered & cleaned up this once too dark movie. Plus, it's a 2-disc, so you know there's plenty of extras. Bravo! Also, there's something about Chris Lemmon (Jack Lemmon's son) that I find attractive.

This one's guaranteed to creep you out. Rent it if you dare.

Purple Noon (AKA Plein soleil ) (1960)
Comments: Alain Delon is gorgeous in this, the predecessor to 1999's The Talented Mr. Ripley. I've been wanting this one for a lonnnng time. Finally found it for well under $10 on

Death Curse of Tartu/Sting of Death (1966/1965)
Comments: I bought this movie for the so-bad-it's-good Sting of Death. It tells the tale of an insane marine biologist who manages to turn himself into a bizarre half-man, half-jellyfish hybrid who falls in love! It's a Technicolor monster show a-go-go! And you gotta love the theme song sang by Neil Sedaka, which started the dance craze that didn't sweep the nation: Do the jella Jellyfish!

And as with all Something Weird DVDs, there are plenty of drive-in movie trailers and other assorted goodies.

Friday After Next (2002)
Comments: I loved the first Friday, but in all honesty I could give a shit about any of the sequels. The one and only reason I bought this is because Terry Crews gets shirtless (When doesn't he? Hey, I'm not complainin') and makes his pecs bounce.

Peter Pan (2003)
Comments: I normally am not a fan of the Peter Pan story/mythology. I think the only thing I even liked about the Disney version was The Lost Boys. They were just so adorably odd in their various animal constumes. Like Club Kids before I knew what one was. Anyway, this was a great, visually-beautiful version that I actually enjoyed. Jason Isaacs was great in duel roles as both Mr. Darling AND Captain Hook. And for some odd reason I found him kind of sexy as Hook. I have no idea why. I hate long hair on men.

See Arnold Run (2005)
Comments: Pure eyecandy, nothing else. This movie sucked sooo bad. OMG. And the casting was horrific. I only bought it because I wanted to see the flashback scenes to the bodybuilding years and because Roland Kickinger is kinda hot, even though he has a serious case of Gynecomastia (A side-effect of Steroid use). I'm surprised he would allow himself to be seen, let alone filmed, before having remedied the condition.

Cartoon Craze: Bosko & Friends (2003)
Comments: *See above

Amityville Horror (2005)
Comments: I already blogged about how horrendous this CGI-laden cineturd was. I also said Ryan Reynolds is beyond hot in this movie and I would buy it for that and only that reason...and I did.

Running on Karma (AKA Daai Chek Liu) (2003)
Comments: I stumbled across this movie on eBay ages ago, but never took the time to find out much about it. Months passed and I saw a picture of what appeared to be some hot-looking Asian bodybuilder. I was smitten, so I did some research and found out the image was a still from the movie Running on Karma. Apparently the lead Andy Lau is wearing a body suit. Who knew? It sure fooled me. Oddly enough I still find it hot. It must be part of my internal wiring. Here's a synopsis of the odd, but fun movie:

Biggie, a disgraced Buddhist monk and bodybuilder who can see other people's karma. He makes his living sneaking over the border from China to Hong Kong where he works as a stripper, stuffing his g-string with cash until he's arrested, goes back to China , blows his bankroll on beer and chicks and then does it all over again. When he runs into a cop, Cecilia Cheung, during a nightclub raid his supernatural "karma vision" shows him that she was a WW II Japanese officer in a past life. The officer's penchant for decapitation has left Cheung with a bucketful of bad karma that has to be worked out in this life. At the same time, a seemingly insane, Indian contortionist kills a cop, and the entire police department gears up and goes hunting, hoping to put a bullet in the head of this cop killer. Biggie's caught in the middle, and he decides to do what he can to keep more people from getting killed. But, as Buddhism teaches over and over again, if you can't let go of the material world, you're going to get hurt.

Viking Strong: Reloaded (2004)
Comments: Workout video of incredibly hot bodybuilder Tommy Thorvildsen, whose major homophobia I clearly remember when he was first new on the bodybuilding circuit. Still, he has amazing pecs.

The Return (AKA Vozvrashcheniye) (2003)
Comments: I haven't watched this Russian thriller yet, but it sounds promising: Two teenage Russian boys have their father return home suddenly after being absent for 12 years. The father takes the boys on a holiday to a remote island on a lake in the north of Russia that turns into a test of manhood of almost mythic proportions.

Everyone on IMDB seems to be giving it rave reviews. I guess it can't be too bad. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the lead (Konstantin Lavronenko) is a cutieface.

Along Came Polly (2004)
Comments: I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Ben Stiller has fallen into the same overused schtick category as Will Ferrell, but this movie still made me laugh out loud. Plus, I just enjoy Jennifer Aniston. She just seems like a cool person and it comes through in the characters she plays.

You must rent it for the basketball scene alone. I laughed my ass off!

Bad Santa (2003)
Comments: I finally gave in and rented this holiday hit and really liked it. My parents even liked it, so you know it's funny...and filthy. I die laughing every time I watch the scene where they try to teach the kid how to defend himself. Rent it, it's funny.


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