Pop Culture, High and Low, Past and Present.
One Day at a Time.

Email me:
vince AT vincekeenan DOT com

    Follow me on Twitter

    Friday, August 13, 2004

    DVD: Schoolhouse Rock! 30th Anniversary Edition

    All 46 animated shorts are here: ‘Conjunction Junction,’ ‘I’m Just a Bill,’ ‘Interplanet Janet.’ Plus a new one on the workings of the electoral college that would have come in handy four years ago.

    The words to all of them have been rattling around my head for years. It helps that they’re set to catchy music that at times is worthy of Sondheim. Let’s see him find a melody for this lyric:

    “Interjections show excitement or emotion. They’re generally set apart from a sentence by an exclamation point or by a comma when the feeling’s not as strong.”

    I was reluctant to watch one called ‘Figure Eight’ because it had an odd affect on me as a child. It features a more wistful song than the others, one that evoked a powerful feeling in me which I was too young to identify as melancholy. I was always a morbid kid, but it had to unnerve my parents seeing their six-year-old staring gloomily out the window when he was supposed to be hopped up on Frosted Flakes and watching SUPERFRIENDS. Rosemarie had never seen ‘Figure Eight.’ When it ended she said, “No wonder it freaked you out. That woman sounds like Blossom Dearie.” Turns out it is Blossom Dearie. They’d probably slap a parental advisory on it now.

    Movie: Yu-Gi-Oh! (2004)

    There’s a character in this game-turned-TV-show-turned-movie named Obnoxious Celtic Guardian? Have I been missing out on a good thing?

    TV: Late Night Line-Up

    Craig Kilborn threw the schedule in an uproar when he pulled the plug on his own show. I kind of enjoyed Kilby’s program, even though it was packed with B-listers and coasted on a lazy hipster vibe. Craiggers didn’t have any illusions about his place in the Hollywood food chain. And watching him hit on the latest SI cover model had a certain oleaginous charm.

    The theory is that CBS will wait for Conan O’Brien’s NBC contract to expire, then get him to jump ship with the understanding that he’ll move to 11:30 when David Letterman retires. It’s not the worst idea I’ve heard. My only fear is that the earlier time slot would take the edge off Conan’s show. (Watch ‘Classic Dave’ on Trio to see what a difference an hour makes.) Conan certainly couldn’t engage in bizarre experiments like last night’s show. The entire hour was an infomercial for the newly-released LATE NIGHT DVDs. Conan wore a series of progressively uglier sweaters. Bruce Jenner co-hosted. Such hijinks won’t fly at 11:30.

    Miscellaneous: Links

    Stuart Klawans can’t get Jonathan Demme’s THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE out of his head. Neither can I, only I mean it in a bad way. It remains, for me, the missed opportunity of the summer. I’ve realized that the movie is not just a redo of the 1962 original. Think about it. Veterans of a foreign war plagued by night sweats and the vague sense that someone, possibly their own side, has done something to them. Creepy New York locations. A woman who may not be what she appears. It’s also a remake of JACOB’S LADDER. It’s two, two, TWO remakes in one. And still no bargain.

    Critical hosannas for COLLATERAL be damned. Dave Kehr says the ultimate L.A. noir is and always will be KISS ME DEADLY.


    Come on Vince, "Figure Eight" is the best of all of the number type SHR episodes-- it is all things to all people. "Figure Eight" is both melancholy AND up beat. It starts slow, the figure skater, carefully constucting the Eight.

    But then it whips us up with " one times eight is eight, two times eight is sixteen....) Happy. Upbeat. Practically disco.

    After whipping you into a frenzy (OK, not really) , it slows it back down-- just like a great band in concert. Completes the cycle.

    Finishes with the big "....turn it on its side and its infinity" allusions to God, eternity and man's insignficance in an infinite universe etc etc etc.

    Much better than the crappy "Zero my Hero", call to 'loserville'

    P.S. MB agrees with you that Figure Eight is creepy


    We have this set on disk as well, and I always skip past "Naughty Number 9" because The Girl finds the bit with the mouse in bondage WAY too interesting. I blame it on early swaddling at the orphanage.


    Post a Comment

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


    www vincekeenan.com


    Site designed by Rosemarie Keenan
    Movie stills from The Prelinger Archives